16 Nov 8 Things Families Wish They Had Known Before Starting Home Care Services
When a senior loved one needs help at home, some families may be surprised as they start professional caregiving services. Families may find it more difficult than expected. Alternatively, there were things that they didn’t prepare for. Home care services for senior loved ones can be a great way to give them the support they need. It can help them remain at home and stay independent. Learn how to overcome obstacles and other things that families wish they had known before starting home care agency services.
“I underestimated the emotional connection I would have with my caregiver,” said Beatrice. “I didn’t realize how hard it would be to find the right fit,” commented Ben.
There are many considerations to ponder when it comes to starting home care services. Chief among them are how to find the right provider, and how to pay for it, among others. However, many recipients of care or their loved ones learn other important factors about their home care and caregivers once the caregiving has begun.
What families of senior loved ones with they knew before starting home care and caregiving services
This article looks at the lessons learned by the care recipients or their loved ones once they began to receive professional home care services. Below we highlight 8 things that families and loved ones wish they had known before home care services began for a senior loved one. Plus, we discuss ways that families can prepare for home care services and caregiving to begin.
Shop around for home care
“When we were preparing to leave the hospital to return home, the discharge nurse asked us who we wanted for our home care needs,” said Beatrice, a Chosen Family Home Care client. “We had only heard of one company, and that’s who we went with. After several months, we realized that their work ethic was not in line with what I needed or expected. I spent some time researching other companies and made some phone calls. I found an agency that fit my needs better.”
As you prepare for home care, be sure to look around. All home care agencies are not created equal. It is important for patients and their loved ones to consider what is important to them. At the same time, they should ensure that their values and needs align with those of the agency that they choose. Learn the top 8 benefits of home care here. Plus, find out why Chosen Family Home Care is a great home care agency. Chosen Family Home Care helps provide for seniors and loves ones in and around the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania area.
Home care is a great resource if your loved ones have special needs
Having to care for your elders can be stressful. Having to care for an elder with additional needs is even more stress inducing. Good caregivers and home health aides are typically caring people that want to help. You should ALLOW them to help, especially at first.
While every senior or disabled patient is unique, most aides have experience dealing with a broad array of healthcare challenges and comorbidities that your loved ones may face. Examples include dementia, stroke, cancer, and other challenging health issues whether mental or physical. They will have tips and tricks on the organization of your home and space to be both effective, efficient, and safe for the patient. Don’t be afraid to ask for ideas, help, or recommendations across a broad range of topics. They’ve probably seen it before. As you prepare for home care support, consider speciality caregivers and research what specialties that home healthcare agencies provide.
This is your home
There may be times when a home care worker makes you uneasy, doesn’t do their job, or just isn’t a good fit for your family. If this is the case, you can ask for a replacement or help from the home care agency. A reputable agency will happily oblige. Maybe your home care worker just needs some constructive criticism. Again, a solid home care agency will appreciate the feedback and work with the caregiver to make things right.
Additionally, don’t feel guilty for asking for a replacement. The home care agency as well as the caregiver understand that things might now work out with one family. They know that their needs may be better suited at another home. Don’t be shy, and don’t be hateful, just be honest. Life is easier when humility and dignity are applied to any situation. In the end, both you and the caregiver will be happier as a result.
The home care staff are professionals, not your new best friend
The family or the senior loved one may become friends with the caregiver and this seems like the natural thing to do. It’s great to have a rapport between the care recipient and the caregiver. However, it is best to keep things professional. Camaraderie and connection are very important in a situation like this, but there is still some expectation setting and “management” of the caregiver by the family or patient. Keep this in mind as you prepare for home care support. For example, you may need to be direct and upfront about your expectations. That can be challenging if you and the caregiver are emotionally connected. When this happens, it can be difficult to correct a problem should one arise. Patients have remarked about making these mistakes early on.
Ultimately, what can happen is that as expectations or understandings need to be corrected, the situation became emotional rather than remaining professional. It can be a fine line to manage the dynamics of the caregiver-patient relationship. When in doubt, keep discussions related to things that affect you or your loved one’s care or their routines.
Make your home or that of your senior loved one inviting and comfortable
By creating a warm and inviting setting, when you find a great caregiver, they will want to stay. For example, some patients have dedicated comfortable chairs for their caregivers or made space in the fridge to accommodate their home care workers. While certainly not required, putting in a bit of extra effort and accommodation for your care workers will go a long way in keeping them satisfied. Finding the right caregiver can be a major challenge for a family. Ultimately, it makes the caregiver-client relationship stronger and more comfortable for both sides.
Your caregiver is a special part of your family’s life
They sacrifice a lot of time and energy for your loved one. Spending so much time in the client’s home environment and one-on-one with a patient really makes the caregiver a uniquely intimate role. Make them feel welcome when you celebrate holidays or birthdays. No one wants to be away from their family during these times. By doing so, you are acknowledging the special role that the caregiver has and how important they are in their role.
The desire that services were started earlier
Many clients or their loved ones wish that services had begun earlier. One of the main reasons for this is because of the strain that caregiving takes on the loved ones providing care to the patient. For a loved one or a family member, managing the challenges of their own busy schedules is usually tough already. Trying to navigate the needs of providing care to a loved one at the same time often proves difficult, stressful, or nearly impossible.
Many loved ones mention that by bringing in professional caregivers, it removed the guilt or resentment on their part because they often felt the burden placed on them by not being available as often as the patient would have liked. Additionally, others mentioned that it lessened stress on the relationship between the loved one providing care and the care recipient. Carol summed it up by saying “When I went to visit my mom, it was nice to be able to spend time with her and not cleaning her kitchen.” See 9 steps to introducing home care when a family member refuses.
Preparing for payment or coverage of services
Home care services are sought after because of its relative flexibility and cost savings as opposed to other long-term care options. That bein said, it is still a major expense that patients or their families must cope with. Many family members wish they would have adequately prepared for the financial cost of caregiving. Families should work with their senior loved ones to determine what assets or savings are available to begin home care services. While things are straightforward when there are cash savings available, some financial options are much more complicated and take more time to enact such as using one’s home equity.
Additionally, many patients would have started long-term care insurance coverage in advance in order to pay for their care needs. This option takes foresight and planning. When individuals attempt to get coverage when they need it immediately they may find no coverage options available, be denied, or that premium costs are too high to make financial sense.
Finally, for low-income individuals that qualify, using the services of the state’s waiver program to cover home care expenses is another avenue. It is a great way to help cover caregiving costs. That being said, even those who are eligible must endure a long application process which could stretch on for months. In some cases, we have seen it take as long as nine months to initiate the application process until services are received. By having the foresight to initiate the application earlier, your loved ones can start care without enduring long waits for care to be delivered.
Finding the right home care agency near you
To summarize, there are many challenges and considerations when it comes to initiating the help of a professional home care service provider. Consider some of the lessons learned by the care recipients or their loved ones after starting services that we mention. With this, you can make the transition to home care smoother and less stressful for all parties involved.
Families should be sure to partner with the right home care agency, such as Chosen Family Home Care. The right home healthcare agency can lessen the challenges that come with adding professional caregiving support services. They will also help to prepare for home care and overcome the issues mentioned here. Next, premier home care agencies can provide excellent support and satisfaction for you or your senior loved one. Chosen Family Home Care is a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania based provider of caregiving services and support throughout the region. Reach out to Chosen Family Home Care today for a free consultation. We can help you overcome any concerns or challenges you may have when it comes to finding the right mix of caregiving and support. Finally, we will partner with seniors who need care or their family members that might want to prepare for home care.