Hiring an In-Home Caregiver: What You Need to Know

Certified Senior Advisor®
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Caring for seniors and the elderly can be both rewarding and exhausting. There is nothing wrong with getting some help! Below, guest author Sarah Keller shares important tips for hiring an in-home caregiver.

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Income Disclosure: Product recommendations are based on my personal experience working with seniors. I may earn a commission on items purchased from affiliate links in this guide. Learn More.

In an ideal world, we would be able to care for our loved ones all while maintaining a career, family, you-time and a social life– but in reality, that is not possible. This is where professional home care services come in to help you and your loved ones. And, it’s probably cheaper than paying for a nursing home.

However, enlisting the help of a stranger may be a scary, rigorous process. The good thing is that in-home care providers do extensive background checks on their caregivers, giving you peace of mind that your loved one is in good hands.

We’ve put together the main factors you should consider when choosing an in-home caregiver.

What Are Your Loved One’s Needs?

One of the most important factors to consider is the level of help your loved one needs. There are various types of in-home caregivers that you can choose from. AARP lays out the type of caregivers as:

  • Personal Care Aides (PCAs)– This type of caregiver is not licensed. They can help with bathing, dressing, companionship, light housekeeping and meals.
  • Home Health Aids (HHAs)– These caregivers are able to help with the same aspects as PCAs and more. HHA’s are able to also help monitor your loved one’s condition, if they have one, via vital signs.
  • Licensed Nursing Assistants (LNAs)/ Certified Nursing Assistant CNAs)– This level of caregiving is more advanced compared to PCAs and HHAs. LNAs and CNAs are able to do all that the prior two can do, but they are also qualified to set-up medical equipment, change dressings, monitor infections, clean catheters, and administer treatments.
  • Skilled Nursing Providers or Licensed Practical Nurses– These caregivers are able to administer IVs, tube feedings and shots. Some can be trained to help with occupational therapy, physical therapy and speech therapy.
  • Registered Nurses (RNs)– RNs are the most qualified medical caregivers in this group as they have a diploma in nursing and have passed the National Council Licensure Examination.

RELATED: Does Your Loved One Need an Overnight Caregiver?

How to Find Caregivers

If you have family or friends that have used or are currently using caregiving providers you can speak to them and see if the provider they are using is the right one for you.

Also, try posting on your social media for referrals. Friends and family might be more accessible to give information that way as they can send you links to in-home care providers and their websites so you can do some research as well.

If you need further information or help during your research, you can Google caregiving providers near you and look through their reviews on Yelp, Facebook, Google, etc. You can go through their website and social media channels to see what type of care they provide, who they serve, and what aspects they can offer your loved one to help better their quality of life.

If you are having trouble finding a good care agency, you can go to Medicare.gov and use their Home Health Compare platform to search for an agency near you. Medicare.gov is also a good information website to learn about what the platform is, how to use the data listed and any resources you may need.

How Do I Pay for Caregiving?

Just like any type of medical help, caregiving is not on the cheap end. The price also varies on the level of care your loved one needs. Here are the various ways you can pay for in-home care.

  • Out-of-pocket: You can pay for your loved one’s care by using annuities, investments, savings, life insurance policies or borrowing money by taking out a reverse mortgage loan for example.
  • Medicare: This can help cover skilled nursing costs, occupational, physical, and speech therapy, as well as home health aide services. But, Medicare Advantage plans can provide additional benefits. This private insurance option offers broader and longer-term care coverage.
  • Medicaid: This program can help pay for in-home care.

When you have a career, a family and responsibilities outside of caring for a sick or elderly loved one, it is imperative you find the best caregiver who you can trust, as well as your loved one, as they are in a vulnerable state.

Seeking in-home care is an important task but it can be overwhelming. However, there are many resources available to find out the types of caregiving, where to find a good caregiver and how to pay for caregiving. It is always important to do your research and make sure you are getting the correct level of care your loved one needs.

This article was contributed by the below author. No compensation was received or given for this post.

About the Author

Sarah Keller is the Content Marketing Strategist of A To Z Home Care, a team of professional home care providers based in Phoenix, Arizona that specializes in long-term care for your loved ones. She enjoys riding horses and camping with her friends and family in her spare time.

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Scott Grant, CSA®, ATP

Certified Senior Advisor (CSA)®
Assistive Technology Professional
Certified Rehab Technology Supplier (CRTS®)

I have been serving seniors and the elderly for over 20 years as a medical equipment and custom wheelchair specialist for a regional medical equipment company. I am also a lucky dad to four awesome daughters and grandfather to three pretty terrific grandkids. When not helping older adult improve the quality of their lives, I enjoy early morning runs and occasional kayak trips. I am also a self-admitted nerd who loves anything from the 1980's. Learn More

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