How to Find an In-home Caregiver

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caregiver talking to older couple

Over 75% of those aged 50+ want to stay in their home as they get older, according to AARP’s November 2021 “Home and Community Preferences” survey. Family caregiver tends to be the answer, but it’s certainly not ideal or feasible for everyone. Helping a loved one age in place doesn’t mean you have to assume the responsibility of a caregiver and move in with them.

In-home caregivers are a timely solution for adult children who need to find a carer for their elderly parents. In this blog, we discuss:

  • 5 different types of carers
  • What is geriatric home care management?
  • How to find a caregiver for elderly parents

First, let’s differentiate five types of carers so you can understand which might be the best fit for your aging loved one.

5 Different Types of Carers

You may be looking for a home health aide, wondering what a personal home caregiver is, or asking how to hire a home care nurse. However, each of these titles refers to different types of home care workers that perform distinct functions in the life of older adults.

Below we’ve listed several carer titles ordered by the level of care they provide, starting from least to greatest:

  • Personal home caregiver. A personal home caregiver or personal care aid (PCA) for the elderly is someone who helps clients with activities of daily living (ADLs). ADLs include tasks such as bathing, dressing, toileting, feeding, etc. They also provide companionship and offer transportation.
  • Home health aides. While home health aides (HHAs) also assist with ADLs, they provide a secondary level of care. HHAs check vital signs, monitor a client’s physical and mental condition, and are trained to handle emergencies.
  • Certified nursing assistant. In addition to carrying out the tasks of PCAs and HHAs, certified nursing assistants (CNAs) set up medical equipment, change dressings, clean catheters, monitor infections, conduct range-of-motion exercises, and administer some treatments under the direction of a registered nurse (RN) or nurse practitioner.
  • Skilled nursing provider. Skilled nursing providers, or licensed practical nurses (LPNs), provide medical care that non-medical and HHAs can’t. Services may include physical and occupational therapy, wound care, injections, monitoring vital signs, and handling some medical equipment.
  • Registered nurse. RNs provide direct care, administer medications, operate medical monitoring equipment, assist doctors in medical procedures, and oversee other home health care workers. They are also advocates of older adults and advisors to family members.

Some registered nurses are also geriatric care managers. Next, we explain what geriatric home care management is and how it can help your family.

What Is Geriatric Home Care Management?

Geriatric care managers are educated and experienced nurses and social workers with specialized expertise in the areas of aging and elder care. They coach, advocate, counsel, advise, navigate, and problem-solve with older adults and their families regarding the challenges encountered late in life. 

These elder care professionals also coordinate the services provided by in-home caregivers, but geriatric care managers aren’t “on the ground” in the same way. They tend to work most with family members, while caregivers work directly with their aging loved ones.

Geriatric home care management services range from administering senior health assessments to assisting with housing and relocation. Consider geriatric care managers as professional family members. They step in to mediate when family relationships get tense and offer peace of mind to adult children concerned about their elderly parent’s care.

Most importantly, geriatric care managers help you answer the question “what now” and ease the stress of personally caring for a loved one.

How to Find a Caregiver for Elderly Parents

If you’re wondering how to find home care for elderly parents, you have a few options. You can use a home health care registry, work with a home care agency, or rely on a personal referral. In this section, we discuss the first two.

1. Use a Registry

If you’re wondering how to find a private home health aide, you may consider using a registry. A registry, also known as a staffing service or independent contractor agency, acts as a middleman between families and in-home caregivers. They have a repository of caregivers for families to choose from based on their selected search criteria. 

The registry often charges a one-time fee for finding a successful match. However, once hired, you become the caregiver’s employer, accepting the responsibility, risk, and liability that a company normally assumes.

2. Use an Agency

Working with a home care agency is the best way to find a carer for your aging parent. For one, you don’t have to worry about how to hire a caregiver because the agency is already staffed with qualified in-home caregivers. They also insure their home care workers and handle all human resources tasks you would have had to do if you hired an independent caregiver from a registry or based on a referral.

One aspect of using an agency that provides peace of mind is backup care. If your parent’s caregiver can’t make their shift, you don’t have to worry about stepping in because the agency will send a replacement. And, if your parent’s health care needs change, an agency can seamlessly provide another carer with more experience and training.

As a premier home care agency, Stowell Associates’ geriatric care managers can help you find a caregiver for your loved one today. Call us at 414-488-6491 to learn how we can help care for your family.

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In this blog, we answer the question, “What is a geriatric care manager?” and explain how to find a geriatric care manager for your aging loved one.