Choosing Professional Caregiving for Your Loved One

| By Jodi Horton

As your loved one begins to age, you might decide that he or she needs additional assistance with household tasks or personal care. Here are a few thoughts to keep in mind as you begin the search for professional caregiving help.

First, determine what kind of assistance your loved one will need. Are you looking for household support, assistance with personal hygiene, or medical care?

Begin your search by asking family members, friends, and co-workers for recommendations. Ask them about their experience with the agency and the caregivers. This might help you narrow your search.

As you begin research about individual agencies, make sure the agency is insured and ask if they perform background checks on their caregivers. Some families may choose a private caregiver, instead of working through an agency, but be aware of liability issues. Hiring a private caregiver means you become the employer, and can be liable for work-related injuries, tax issues, etc.

Prior to meeting with an agency or caregiver, make a list of specific duties you’d like for the caregiver to perform, such as help with bathing, grooming, household cleaning, or meal preparation. Determine if you have a set schedule of days and hours for the caregiver, and ask the agency if you can have the same worker for your schedule to create continuity for your loved one. Here are some questions to consider:

  • Can the caregiver fulfill all of the duties on the list?
  • Does the caregiver have any limitations?
  • What’s the back-up plan if a caregiver is unable to come out for a shift, due to illness or vacation?
  • What kind of training or education do the caregivers have and/or receive?

It can be tough knowing how to choose a stranger to care for your loved one, but having the research and the answers to your questions will help ease the process.

Casa de la Luz Hospice provides hospice care and grief support to Tucson and its surrounding areas. Call 520.544.9890 for information about our hospice services.

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