Whether for yourself or someone you care about, hiring a trustworthy caregiver is priceless. Read tips on how to find the perfect match.
Unfortunately, there comes a time in some people’s lives when they are no longer able to care for themselves. Of course, this is a difficult topic to discuss — but one worth talking about. (I feel like the older I get, the more “serious” talks I’m forced to have!)
Whether it be just a little bit of help or around-the-clock care, hiring a trained professional can work wonders. Selfishly, hiring a caregiver can be immensely helpful to Baby Boomers like us who often are “sandwiched” in between taking care of our parents and our kids (and grandkids).
Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to get assistance (move to assisted living, or continue in the current housing situation) should be made by the person in need, as long as they are able to make that decision, of course.
But I’d be lying if I didn’t say having professional help helps all of us – myself included – who have loved ones who need extra assistance we are (physically, emotionally, etc) not able to provide.
Some of us Baby Boomers may feel guilty handing off the primary caretaking roles to another person — but it’s important to remember that we all need help from time to time. In this case, you may need help helping others, and that’s OK!
Let’s be honest: sometimes we need assistance. Luckily, home health caregivers are abundant and trained just for this purpose!
Finding a trained caregiver, believe it or not, can help family member gain back a level of independence they may have lost. Many seniors with caregivers report that they feel like they are “nagging” family members when they need help, but feel more comfortable asking a trained professional for assistance.
Several years ago, my mother in law moved in with my wife and me full-time, as it was no longer safe for her to live alone. As her physical health declined over the years, so did her mind: we’d come home to a forgotten pot on the stove, her shoes in the refrigerator, her exhausted from performing housework as simple as doing the laundry.
Not only was it unsafe for her to be home alone while we are at work, but she was lonely. Sitting at home alone all day is not a lot of fun! When you have mobility issues like my mother in law, doing anything more than sitting around can be dangerous.
After yet another stint in the hospital we realized, my mother in law needs help. And we were unable to give her the help she needed – the help she deserved – as we both work full time. (Not that I’d like to admit it, but it’s also difficult to help physically care for someone else when you’ve “over the hill” like my wife and me!)
So we had a family meeting, with her included (her cognition is well enough that she is still able to make decisions for herself), and decided that a full-time caregiver would be the best solution: A caregiver could provide her the physical support she needs, and can provide the rest of us the peace of mind we’ve been desperate for.
(Anecdotally, I can tell you that hiring a caregiver can help improve a senior’s overall quality of life; I’ve seen a huge change in my mother in law in just the short time we’ve had her nurse)
She is adhering to her medication regime better than ever. It truly does take a professional to manager her dozens of pills! She is getting more stimulation, mentally and physically. Her mood has improved and she seem like “herself” again. She has someone to talk with, someone to help her, someone to just be there for even the times when she’s embarrassed to ask for help.
As far as that peace of mind my wife and I desired? We’ve got it now, thanks to her nurse. We know she is being cared for in a way that she not only needs, but in a way she deserves.
Even her doctor has commented on the improvements she has made since getting the nurse!
When searching for a caregiver, our family brainstormed questions we’d ask the potential nurses. Writing these questions down in advance helped us stay on track, and helped remove our emotions or judgements about the applicants, from the process.
We wanted the person who would best take care of my mother in law — not the one who we thought seemed the nicest, or offered the best price, etc. We wanted someone who would put her needs first and treat her as if she was the nurse’s own mother.
I’d like to share our interview questions with you. I hope these help you in your process of finding a quality caregiver for your loved one. These are in no particular order and may or may not apply to your family’s situation. While this list is not comprehensive, I hope it helps you find a caregiver that benefits both you and your loved one. (Of course, please consult with your loved one’s physicians regarding medical care!)
Being a part of the Sandwich Generation isn’t tough, but if us Baby Boomers have anything, it’s resilience!