The US has a distinctly older age profile than it had a decade ago. With 10,000 baby boomers celebrating their 65th birthday each day, the 65 and older population has grown by over a third. According to the US Census Bureau, there were over 54 million US residents that were 65 years and older in 2019 compared to the 40.3 million in the 2010 census.
An AARP survey shows that 90% of the older population prefer to age-in-place. You may need an extra pair of hands to help you care for your loved one. Choosing the right in-home personal care services can be challenging, especially when you do not know what to look for. Here are five mistakes that you should avoid to prevent you from sticking with the wrong caregiver for your loved one.
1. Waiting for Too Long
It can be painful to watch your loved one struggle with basic activities of daily living. As they grow older, the level of care needed may increase, putting a strain on you, the primary caregiver. As most families view it as a taboo topic to speak about, they may wait till it is too late to get in-home personal care services. Putting it off for too long may lead you to make a hasty decision that can land you with the wrong home care service. It may also lead you to settle for subpar services since you will feel like you have limited options.
2. Failing to Determine Your Loved One’s Needs
Nearly 70% of Americans turning 65 will require long-term care at some point. You may need to establish the type of in-home personal care services that you require from your agency. Do they require medical assistance or is it just help with daily assistance? What other special needs does your loved one require?
Some companies provide a written copy of the level of care, rights, and responsibilities they have to their clients.
3. Failing to Plan for the Future
The AARP says around 80% of older adults have at least one chronic condition while 68% suffer from two or more. You may need to look forward to the future and determine the progressive need for in-home care. Critically analyze the level of services that the in-home care agency provides. Find out if they are willing to develop a care plan for your loved one that will encompass their growing needs.
4. Ignoring the Input of Your Older Adult
Most primary caregivers wrongfully believe that it falls on them to find the right caregiver for their loved ones. They opt to fly in solo, conducting interviews and background checks without the input of other family members. As the in-home personal care services provider will be directly associating with your parent, it may be important to find out their views on the kind of caregiver they would like. It is also important for them to feel heard during the whole process as it makes them more accepting of the caregiver.
5. Not Setting Expectations
Most families just let the caregiver ‘wing it,’ leading to confusion and misunderstandings later on. It is vital to discuss your expectations with the prospective home care agency. Prepare a list of questions to ask prior to choosing the home care services for your loved one. Be sure to clarify the roles that you wish the caregiver to undertake in caring for those needs.
In-home personal care services are essential to primary caregivers that require assistance in looking after their loved one. Avoiding the five mistakes above during the hiring process can help you get the best care for them.