Hiring a Caregiver

When a senior needs extra assistance with their care, because of memory loss, an age-related illness or mobility issues, it becomes necessary to evaluate the best way to provide for the care needs.

The senior care industry refers to these basic care needs as "Activities of Daily Living".  This includes assisting with walking, bathing, toileting and meals.  Nursing Aides and Home Health Aides (each state sets requirements for certification for nursing assistants) are trained to properly provide for senior care needs.  Certification classes usually take 4 to 8 weeks (depending on if it is a part-time or full-time program).  Nursing facilities and hospitals are usually required to have a minimum level of certified nursing assistants on staff based on the number of residents and patients.  Senior Home Care Agencies may staff companion caregivers, as well as nursing aides, depending on the care needs of the senior.

It is important to consider the toll caregiving will take on a spouse or relative.  The physical work required can be substantial and when this is combined with the need to interact with a loved one as a caregiver, the relative can quickly become exhausted and sometimes even depressed.  This is because they are most likely missing out on many of their own daily activities which they now no longer have the time to enjoy.

Many families have told me that hiring a professional caregiver was the best decision they ever made.  The cost is really minimal when you consider that it will allow relatives to spend quality time with their loved one.  Many times the health of a spouse who is performing the duties of caregiving will also decline significantly.  Caregiving is not easy work.  However, it is a little easier when the person performing the care is not a relative or friend and is able to come to work refreshed and leave to go back to their own life.

Caregiverlist does provide quality standards for Senior Home Care Agencies who provide information on their rates and services for our users and you can learn more about the benefits of hiring a senior home care agency from our home page.

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Comments (2) -

  • Katie Deming

    2/17/2009 5:10:16 PM | Reply

    My Father was terminal with cancer and I can tell you that my Mother began to become a very unhappy and irritable person and we realized that much of this was due to the constant care requirements.  When hospice suggested a caregiver, it made all the difference in the world.  Knowing she would have someone there for a few hours each day allowed her to plan for other activities she needed do and allowed her to get out of the house to shop and take care of herself.

  • Laurie Miller Simard

    3/11/2009 12:35:47 AM | Reply

    This is great information. I'm an RN with 25 years experience in health care who specializes in caregiver training, along with consulting for Adult Family Homes.  

    Though many family members do want to care for their loved one on their own, if they are unable to, they need to know that they have options and support.  

    There are plenty of resources available, through your website and also through DSHS.  

    Thank you for addressing this very important issue!  

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