Choosing in-home support services to take care of an older loved one can be overwhelming. You want to find the most qualified service provider who can bond with your relative to make the whole experience exceptional for everyone.
With so many options available, you want to make sure to do your due diligence before making a decision. Here are five factors to consider that might make the search a little easier.
Decide what kind of care does your loved one needs
Which eldercare services does your loved one need? Typically, home support services involve medical care, non-medical care, or a combination of both. Also, you should determine whether they need 24/7 live-in support or scheduled visits throughout the day.
You might find that some service providers might be better at different types of care, e.g., dementia care vs. physical therapy or assisted living services. Knowing what kind of care you need will help narrow down your search.
Your search will also uncover agencies that provide all the services you need under one roof.
It’s crucial to remember that as a person ages, especially if they have a cognitive impairment, their care needs will increase. Ensure that any care agency you’re considering will be able to tailor their services to your loved one’s evolving needs over the long term.
Select agencies who offer the right services
There’s an array of support services provided by health care agencies and companies to help your older loved one maintain independent living and stay healthy as long as possible. These typically include:
- Alzheimer’s disease or dementia care
- Post-stroke rehabilitation
- Skilled nursing care
- Pediatric care
- Geriatric care
- Personal care
- Nutritional support
- Casual companionship
Your loved one’s physician or specialist will be able to help you decide which services your older relative will need to maintain an optimal quality of life. Share the list of needs with the care agencies so you can review the individualized care plans they develop.
Research local providers and look for references
Ensuring that the provider is reputable and has a good service record will bring you peace of mind that you’ve made the right choice. Usually, you’ll want to go for a company with a lengthy screening process and continuous development. For example, caregivers in Canada must have a Personal Support Worker (PSW) certificate or equivalent, police background check, CPR certificate, and more. This ensures that caregivers are up to date on the latest health and safety practices and equipped to handle the specialized care of your loved one.
If you’ve found a company you like, try to find someone who has used or currently uses their services and ask them for their feedback. Most people will understand your situation as they have already been through the same process. You can also get advice and opinions online. Also, consider building a support network to discuss your situation with people who share the same experience for their insights.
Arrange to visit the companies on your shortlist
After considering the services you need, you’ll likely have a shortlist of companies that fit your profile. The next step is to arrange a meeting or consultation with the Care Manager or equivalent. This is a fantastic way to learn more about their process, the type of environment they work in, and whether they’re a good fit for your loved one and family.
You should prepare several questions for this meeting, such as:
- Does your staff undergo proper background checks?
- What qualifications do your caregivers have?
- Do you have experience providing services to people in the same situation as me?
- What type of training and support do your caregivers have?
- What to do if there’s an emergency?
- Do you provide tailored services for specific conditions, such as dementia or Parkinson’s?
- How often will caregivers visit?
- How do I get updates about the progress and how often?
- What is the care goal and the plan to achieve the goal?
- Can you provide me with references who I can call?
Your questions will depend on the type of services you need. Note that they might not be able to answer or accommodate all of these, such as meeting with caregivers beforehand. Either way, it’s worth asking just in case.
Also, look for a support system for the caregivers, such as clinical supervision or caregiver training, and if there’s a 24/7 support system available in case of emergency.
Share your budget
How much in-home elder care costs is an understandable concern for most families. When choosing a service provider, feel free to present your budget so the company can develop a care plan based on what you can afford. However, it’s crucial not to base your decision solely on your budget. The focus should entirely be on the quality of care your loved one will receive.
If there is a budget shortfall, consider whether family members can contribute or take turns helping out with non-specialized tasks, such as vacuuming or meal preparation. If everyone pitches in, your budget can be directed to quality healthcare services.
Once the caregiving process starts, check in with your loved one to ask about their experience. A good home support provider will be trained and well-equipped to give your loved one the best possible support right from the first day, and your relative’s comments should reflect that. If they don’t, be sure to take things up with the eldercare service provider right away. Open communication will help give everyone peace of mind and help ensure a smooth transition.
Quality in-home eldercare in Etobicoke, Mississauga, and Brampton
CareHop is always happy to speak about how we can help support your elderly loved one’s desire to live independently in their own home. We offer personalized care plans and qualified staff who ensure your relative’s life is full of joy and sunshine.
We offer homemaking and meal preparation, personal care, activities and casual companionship, Alzheimer’s disease and dementia care, and much more on a live-in or on-demand basis. Our sole mission is to bring joy and sunshine into your loved one’s home and ensure that they are happy, thriving, and cared for at all times.
For more information about our eldercare services, please feel free to contact us anytime. We’d love to discuss how our approach to quality elder care can help your loved one have an optimal quality of life during these special years.