Posted by Gerald J. Turner –
No adult likes to feel like they can’t take care of themselves. One of the unfortunate truths of growing older is that many of us will not be able to get along without a little help. There often comes a time when senior citizens require someone to help them carry out the basic functions of life.
While some adult children help their parents in times like this, it is not always feasible. No matter how much you love your senior parent, you may not have the necessary medical education, time or skills required to take care of them. Most adults have full time jobs and cannot take on a second one. In these cases, families should consider hiring a professional to step in.
What type of help does the senior need?
First, you must determine the nature of your parent’s needs. Is there a medical condition that will require specialized care at home? If this is the case, then the situation probably calls for a Skilled Nursing Provider or Registered Nurse. If they do not require this intensity of medical attention, then you may be able to use a Licensed Nursing Assistant or Certified Nursing Assistant to help out. They lack the certifications of Registered Nurses but are also paid considerably less.
Likewise, the engagement of a Personal Care Assistant (PCA) may be in order if your parent or loved one requires mostly non-medical services. Personal Care Assistants help elders bathe, dress, handle bathroom visits, perform housekeeping duties, engage seniors mentally and conversationally, and generally keep them company.
Choosing a provider
Once you have determined the type of care that’s required, it is time to find the right provider. There are two basic methods for doing this. The first is to contact a Home Care Agency. Make sure they are licensed by the state in which you reside and that the workers they employ are also licensed.
Alternatively, you may find it best to hire an attendant on your own. This method offers both risk and reward. It is generally cheaper to advertise yourself, but on the other hand, the person you hire may not be as thoroughly vetted, educated or certified as a person hired through an agency. You should strive to balance care requirements with budgetary ones when determining the right provider.
It is also important to include the senior in the decision-making process and continue to allow them to make decisions as long as they are able.
Choosing a caregiver is an important process and hopefully, these guidelines can guide you in your decision.
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