The right home caregiver can make staying at home safer, healthier, and more realistic for a senior who could benefit from a little extra support. Of course, you want to be sure you find a caregiver with experience, who works for a reputable agency, and who can meet your needs. Many older adults and their family members can feel anxiety when they start their search for a home caregiver, worried they will not make the right decision.
Here are a few steps you can take as you strive to find a home caregiver in Washington, D.C., and the surrounding area.
Know Your Needs
Before you begin your search for a home caregiver in the Washington, D.C. area, you should know a bit about what you need support with. Jot down tasks that exhaust you or that you can no longer complete without help. This might include grocery shopping, meal preparation, vacuuming, tidying up, or personal care.
If you aren’t sure what type of tasks you might need support with, talk about it with a family member or your physician. Then, write down what you could use assistance with. You’ll use this list as you talk with different home care agencies so that they can understand what would benefit you.
If you need nonmedical services, like housekeeping support and help with personal care tasks, you’ll want to find a non-medical home care agency. For medical services, like wound care or physical therapy, you’ll want to connect with your physician to get an order for a medical home care agency.
Know Your Budget
Home care agencies vary in services provided to clients as well as pricing. Some home care agencies charge by the hour with no weekly minimum, which is often the best-case scenario and allows you to be flexible with your help from week to week or month to month. However, some agencies do have a weekly hourly minimum or they charge by the 4-hour block of time.
It’s important for you to understand your budget and how much money you can set aside for home care services. You might be able to offset costs of home care through a Veterans Aid and Attendance benefit, or through your healthcare insurance.
Find a Reputable Agency
Now that you have a better understanding of the support you need and what your budget is, you can begin searching for a home care agency. While you can find caregivers who work independently, working through an agency can provide more peace of mind as they are typically insured. In addition, working with an agency gives you access to more resources including a roster of caregivers and experienced managers who can support you in your health goals.
Search for an agency that has been around for more than 5 years and that has positive reviews online and off. You want to work with an agency that responds quickly to your inquiry and that provides a free assessment. You’ll also want to work with an agency that has experience serving adults who are living with similar challenges to you or your loved one.
Interview Potential Caregivers
Once you choose a home care agency, you might have the opportunity to interview potential caregivers. This can be helpful if you or your loved one are nervous about inviting a “stranger” into the home and can jumpstart the relationship-building process. Caregivers are often happy to chat with new clients over the phone or in person so they can introduce themselves and get to know you or your loved one.
At CaringGivers, we are proud to be one of the premier home care providers in the Washington, D.C. area. Our caregivers have a heart for service, are reliable, and are experienced in dementia care, stroke care, and Veterans care. We’d love to chat with you more so that you can get to know us and our services. Contact us for a free assessment to get started.