The Moore American

Local News

January 2, 2013

How to find and hire a good home care worker

MOORE — Dear Savvy Senior,

What’s the best way to find a good in-home caregiver for my elderly mother?

— Looking for Care

Dear Looking,

Finding a good in-home caregiver that’s dependable, likeable, trustworthy and affordable can be challenging, to say the least. Here are some tips and resources that can help.

Know your needs

Before you start the task of looking for a caregiver, your first step is to determine the level of care your mom needs (see NCLneedsassessment.org for a checklist). If, for example, she only needs help with activities of daily living like preparing meals, doing laundry, bathing or dressing, a “homemaker” or “personal care aide” will do.

But, if she needs health care services, there are “home health aides” that may do all the things a homemaker does, plus they also have training in administering medications, changing wound dressings and other medically related duties. Home health aides often work under a nurse’s supervision.

Once you settle on a level of care, you then need to decide how many hours of assistance she’ll need. For example, does your mom need someone to come in just a few mornings a week to help her cook, clean, run errands or perhaps bathe? Or does she need more continuous care that requires daily visits or a full-time aide?

After you determine her needs, there are two ways in which you can go about hiring someone. Either through a home health agency, or you can hire someone directly on your own.

Home health agencies

Hiring a certified home health agency to supply and manage your mom’s care is the easiest but most expensive option of the two. Costs run anywhere from $12 up to $40 an hour depending on where you live and the qualification of the aide. This is also usually a better way to go if your mom requires a lot of in-home health care.

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