Finding The Best Elderly Caregiver For Your Loved Ones

By: Meredith Miller
Published: Tuesday, November 06 2018
Last Updated: a month ago

As children who love our parents, we never want to think of a time when we can't take care of them ourselves. Unfortunately, with the bustle of everyday life and the struggles we often deal with, it's easy to feel the need for help. Even more important than caring for them on your own is recognizing how to help your aging parent in their time of need.

When our parents age, they require extra attention just to ensure that they're well taken care of, and this is when we turn to the help of an elderly caregiver. Caring for the elderly is often a full-time position, so here’s what you need to know if you’re looking to take care of those most important in your life.

What Caring For The Elderly Entails

An elderly caregiver is often tasked with numerous different things on a day-to-day basis. They must give a lot of attention to the individual for whom they're caring, including helping with household tasks and daily errands.

For instance, if the elderly individual is unable to transport themselves from one destination to another, the caregiver may be required to help. Similarly, some at-home tasks such as going from room to room may require assistance, especially if the person being cared for has trouble with mobility and balance. Other tasks may include:

  • Shopping for groceries
  • Getting mail
  • Getting upstairs
  • Bathing
  • Making food
  • Taking medication

Who’s Qualified

One of the biggest things to look for is the qualifications of the elderly caregiver. You want to ensure that this person has everything it takes to ensure your loved one is properly cared for and looked after.

Caregivers most often require special training and must meet educational requirements before they are tasked with caring for the elderly. Oftentimes, they may go through certified nursing assistant programs to earn a certification.

What To Look For In A Caregiver

When considering an elderly caregiver, there are a few characteristics that you want to keep in mind. These may include credentials and experience, great references, and their compatibility with your elderly loved one.

Credentials And Experience

This means ensuring that the person you choose has helped care for the elderly before and they have a long history of high-quality care. You wouldn't want to choose someone who hasn't helped provide care or who has a bad history.

Great References

For any elderly caregiver, having great references can make the difference in whether they can continue to secure employment in the field. Make sure you check the caregiver's references so you can speak with past families with whom they worked and ensure they are up for the task.

Compatibility

One of the biggest problems individuals run into--and the biggest reason for resistance from their elderly loved one--is lack of compatibility. Before you hire the person responsible for caring for an elderly individual, make sure they are caring, reliable, and compatible with the person who will be spending the most time with them.

Determining Your Needs

When choosing the elderly caregiver, you want to make sure you understand your needs and the needs of your elderly loved one. Oftentimes, the needs vary and some caregivers may be more appropriate for the situation than others. As such, you want to ensure that your needs, the needs of your loved one, and the qualifications of the caregiver match.

Recognizing all of the needs involved can help you understand what type of caregiver that is right for your loved one. There are a few questions that you may want to ask to help you come up with the list of your loved one's needs.

  • Do they need help with transportation? - If your loved one needs transportation, the caregiver should probably have a clean driving record.
  • Are they confined to their bed or home? - If your loved one is bedridden, the caregiver may need special training in hygienic care.
  • Will they need assistance with bathing? - Similar to the above, the need for bathing may require the caregiver to have specialized training to properly care for your loved one.
  • Do they need full-time care or only need help with some items? - Some caregivers may not be available all the time, so you want to have someone who can dedicate their time to your loved one.

Narrowing Down What Type Of Caregiver Is The Right Fit

Now that you recognize the needs of your loved one and the characteristics you want in a caregiver, you can begin to narrow down your search to a select few. Be sure to interview them extensively and have them meet with your loved one. This can help ensure that they are compatible and should be trusted with the job.

Not sure where to begin your search? Try looking up elderly caregivers in your area. There are extensive resources that can help you find the person that is right for you and your loved one. Usually, just by entering your zip code, a number of qualified elderly caregivers will appear in the results. Make sure to read reviews, which should be readily available. From there, getting started is as easy as making the call.