Guardian Carers Feature on BBC News London

How to choose the right home carer? Top 5 things to keep in mind

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Getting older is inevitable and, whether we like it or not, at some point we will require additional help. The reality is that as our loved ones age, there is a possibility that they will lose some physical or mental capabilities which will make their daily life more difficult.

As much as we want to be always there and provide the assistance they need, we too have daily tasks or everyday work that needs to be done. However, the good thing is that you can find someone you can trust caring for your elderly loved ones without compromising their quality of life.

A home careris a person who is well trained and experienced in looking after elderly people. As the name suggests, they will be happy to provide care services in the comfort of their client’s home since, according to research, most elderly people wish to stay in their homes as they age.

How to Choose a Home Carer

Identify your needs

In their later years, elderly people may suffer from different conditions; hence they have different needs than others. Someone who has dementia may not require the assistance of an elderly person who is suffering from a back injury but has a sharp memory.

If your elderly loved one recently lost their spouse and experiencing depression, for instance, then they may need a home carer who will also serve as a companion to them. On the other hand, if you want to find someone who will not just look after your elderly family member but will also keep their home clean and well organised then a carer-housekeeper would be ideal.

These are just a few of the examples that most families are looking for but the list doesn’t end here. The first thing you must do is to consider what are the care services your elderly loved one needs.

You may think about having a home carer who will be living with your loved one or if you prefer someone in your local area. It is very important to keep in mind that in choosing the right home carer you must find someone who is in tune with their unique circumstances and needs.

Set up a schedule

Once you identify the type of home care service you want for your loved one, the next big thing is to determine the hours, days and the duration for which it is necessary to have an extra pair of hands around the home.

You can start by setting up the schedule or the specific times of the day that your loved one will need assistance. For example, do they need help in getting up in the morning and assisting with the daily appointments and activities every day? If you need a home carer to work 8 hours per day for 5 days, then you will need someone willing to work full-time hours.

However, if you just need someone for 3 hours per day or a few days per week, it would be ideal to look for a home carer that is happy to work on a part-time role. When it comes to the time frame, you should establish whether it is just for a temporary period or if you are planning to look for someone on a long-term basis.

Elderly people who undergo surgery, for instance, may only need someone for a couple of weeks or months until they recover. However, if your elderly loved one has a persistent chronic condition then the best option would be to find a home carer who can support them permanently.

Establish the requirements

One of the most essential parts of choosing a home carer figuring out if the candidate will live up to your standards and expectations. To do so, you must set specific requirements that will serve as your guide in hiring the right person suitable for your loved one.

You will need someone who has extensive years of experience in working with people who have similar conditions as your loved one. This way you will be sure that the carer is knowledgeable in handling the aids and personal equipment they are currently using if that is the case, as well as administering the right dosage of medicines.

You should also check the references they have from their previous employers to verify that the information provided is accurate. They may also have relevant qualifications such as a diploma in Health and Social Care or underwent training and acquired skills in providing care services for people with various conditions.

Aside from the requirements we have mentioned, you may also want a home carer who has a driver’s license and can run errands for your loved one or drive them to doctor’s appointments.

Does your loved one have a specific meal plan or dietary requirements? Maybe they prefer a specific type of cuisine? A home carer who can also prepare and follow instructions when it comes to food would be desirable, as they will contribute to your loved one’s overall well-being.

Check your budget

Hiring a home carer for your loved one is probably one of the toughest decisions you will have to make. Not just because it will require a certain amount of money but most importantly it will be a decision which will improve your loved one’s health and enhance their life.

It will matter because you will use your hard-earned money on a home carer who will work to support your love one when you can’t. So you should check your budget and weigh your options as well as contemplate all the benefits you and your loved one will get by hiring a home carer.

Trust your instincts

It may feel like taking a leap of faith when choosing the right home carer so when you have made a decision, you must remember to trust your instincts and have confidence that you have made the best decision for your loved one.

Guardian Carers will be happy to assist you in finding your loved one’s future home carer. We have specialist consultants who have the right expertise in placing skilled and experienced carers for our clients. If you wish to speak with one of our specialists and learn more about our services, please contact us on 0207 183 1395 or download our brochure.

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