Checklist for Hiring an in Home Care Provider

Care Facility - Elder Care Attorney in Bucks CountyMost people prefer to stay in their own home where they are comfortable, secure, and can be independent, rather than receive care in an assisted living/personal care facility. However, if your loved one decides to remain in his or her home, support can be provided by a home health care provider. Home health care providers offer a wide range of services to ensure that your loved one is well cared for.. When you begin looking for the right home health care provider for your loved one, consider the following list of tips to help you find the right caregiver.

1. Decide the level of care required.
Before you begin looking for a home health care provider, decide what level of care is needed and how much your budget will allow. Depending on the needs of your loved one, care providers can offer services ranging from companionship to personal care services.

2. Seek additional help from a geriatric care manager.
If you are unsure what services your loved one may need, consider hiring a geriatric care manager.  She (or occasionally he) will be able to assist you in the process of finding the right level of care.  The GCM can also be very helpful in making suggestions for safety within the older person’s home. A geriatric care manager is trained in any of several fields related to eldercare, focusing on a holistic approach to the wellbeing of the older person. If you would like to learn more about the assistance a geriatric care manager can provide, contact Newman Elder Law for more information.

3. Choose whether to use an agency or find a care provider on your own.
Hiring a helper through personal contacts can be fraught with all kinds of undesirable outcomes.  Two of the biggest areas of concern are making sure that your insurance and his/her insurance covers accidents both in and outside the home.  Does the recommended person drive?  Are all relevant and necessary documents valid and up-to-date?

Finding an aide through an agency can offer some advantages, including nationwide prescreening for any criminal offence, and references from previous job-situations.  These references should include length of time at that job, reliability in showing up on time, hands-on kindness and caring, patience, ability to communicate with someone incapacitated by poor vision, deafness, dementia.

Questions to the agency should include: what is the expected/promised coverage if an aide is sick or cannot get to the job?  How do you train your aides?  Does someone from the agency come out to assess the older person’s personality and needs before sending a caregiver?  What if there is a poor “fit” — i.e., we don’t get along?  Do your aides all speak English?  You should know that the agency will send you an aide they consider suitable for you.  You may not agree.  Will the agency let me know ahead of time if a different aide is coming that day?

4. Find candidates who meet your care needs.
If you are not using an agency to find a care provider, you can begin looking for candidates on your own. Begin by asking friends and family for caregiver referrals. Also consider contacting your local senior center, adult daycare center or place of worship for referrals.

5. Select the right candidates to consider.
Begin by writing a detailed job description that you can easily share with applicants. Your description should include the level of care you require, daily tasks including driving, work hours and days, and other responsibilities. Also decide how much you are able to pay, and if you will need to pay taxes and possibly a Social Security contribution.

6. Conduct an initial interview.
Once you have received applications from qualified care providers, conduct an initial interview in a public place like a restaurant or coffee house.  This initial interview will allow you to assess the person’s personality, work experience, and to see if you actually like him/her and feel comfortable in their company.  After all, they will be in your loved one’s home, probably unsupervised.  Are you comfortable with that?

7. Additional interviews.                                                                                            After conducting an initial interview and having carefully reviewed their job history and qualifications, you might invite the ones you trust and like best to visit the older person at home.  Be careful in introducing the aide to the older person, since fear is a known part of dementia. If there is no dementia apparent, then you and the older person can discuss the aide’s qualifications and make a short list of those liked best.  While conducting this more detailed interview, discuss your loved one’s likes and dislikes, health concerns and all responsibilities you will require. Also talk about salary and benefits, including vacation and time off.

8. Check references.
References are an important factor to consider when hiring a home care provider. Be sure to ask for at least three professional references that you can contact. A reference can give you a detailed understanding of what the person is like to work with and employ. When you call the references, ask questions that will give you a clear understanding of the candidate as a person and as a caregiver. Consider asking about his or her reliability and attendance, why he or she left their past positions, and if there were any problems. But please note: these days many employers will give only dates of employment rather than anything more important, relevant to re-hire, and personal.

9. Consider conducting a criminal background check.
A criminal background check is common in the fields of medicine and care giving. Along with ensuring the candidate has no criminal history, a national (not just a state) criminal background check will help give you peace of mind.

10. Prepare employment paperwork.
Once you have selected the ideal candidate, prepare your entire agreement in writing. In your employment agreement, include information about a trial period if you would like one, job responsibilities, salary information, pay schedule, time off, start date, and your termination policy. Of course, you will have this dated and signed, with a copy for yourself and for the aide.

A home health care provider can be beneficial for elders who wish to remain in their homes. If your loved one needs additional care and wants to remain at home, follow these steps to find a care provider who meets your loved one’s needs. Once you have found the right care provider, be sure to visit your loved one regularly to ensure he or she is receiving the best care possible. If you have questions about home care services or need help selecting a home care provider, contact Newman Elder Law for assistance.

Sources:

http://www.aarp.org/relationships/caregiving-resource-center/info-08-2010/pc_home_care_worker.html

http://www.elderlawanswers.com/checklist-hiring-a-home-care-provider-12186

Questions to Ask Before Choosing a Long-Term Care Facility

Care Facility: Elder Care Attorney in Bucks CountyIt’s one of the most difficult decisions a family can face: Moving an older parent into a long-term care facility. Even if the parent recognizes they can no longer live on their own, there are other major questions to be answered:

How do we know a nursing home is safe? How can we make sure they’ll get the best care? As an elder care attorney in Bucks County, Richard Newman knows how difficult it can to answer these questions. That’s why we’re sharing this list from the AARP.

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Summer Safety Tips for Seniors

Senior couple on cycle rideSummertime, and the living is…well, maybe not that easy.

As we get older, summer’s heat and sun can make life difficult. While summer weather can pose health risks for everyone, senior citizens and their caregivers need to take extra precautions.

 

Here are a few summer safety tips for seniors to consider during the hot weather months:

Stay hydrated:

As we age, we lose our ability to conserve water. Be sure to drink at least eight 8-ounce classes of water and/or fruit juice each day. And avoid caffeine and alcohol. Coffee, tea, soda and alcoholic drinks can leave you dehydrated quickly.

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Common Scams Targeting Seniors

Senior Woman Giving Credit Card Details On The PhoneWe try to protect the older members of our families. We look in on them when we can, we advise them to keep their homes secure, we make sure they get to their doctor’s appointments.

But in some cases, threats to senior citizens can come from people half a world away.

Financial scams targeting seniors are – unfortunately – everywhere these days. Here are some of the most common, according to the National Council on Aging.

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Health Care Power of Attorney: Advice for Health Care Decision Makers

 

A health care power of attorney is an essential part of your estate plan.

A health care power of attorney is an essential part of your estate plan.

As the agent of a Health Care Power of Attorney, you are given the authority to make health care decisions for the grantor when he or she is unable to do so. The authority to make health care decisions on behalf of a loved one can be mentally and emotionally difficult. A health care agent may be required to make critical health care decisions including choosing medical treatments and end-of-life wishes and care. To help individuals serve as the agent for a Health Care Power of Attorney, we have outlined some helpful tips below.

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5 Ways to Help Your Loved One Avoid Loneliness

Lonely old man staring out of a windowLoneliness has become a common hardship for seniors who live alone or who do not have the ability to leave their homes on a regular basis. With an increasing number of seniors living alone, isolation has become a growing concern for caregivers and loved ones. Social isolation can be dangerous for seniors, negatively impacting their mental and physical health, according to a Place for Mom. However, loneliness can be diminished, allowing seniors to live a more fulfilling and happy life.

Here are 5 ways to help your elderly loved one avoid feeling lonely.

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What is Undue Influence and How an Elder Law Attorney Can Help

When a person has diminished mental capacity, is ill or isolated, they become more vulnerable to those who might do them harm.

At times, people take advantage of those who are elderly or vulnerable for financial gain or control over assets. One form of exploitation is undue influence.

Undue influence is not typically considered a crime in and of itself, but acts as the means for committing a crime. It is commonly recognized by the misuse of one’s influence to substitute his or her own will for the will of another. The influencer takes advantage of his or her position of power over another person and the consequences can be very destructive.

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When is the Right Time to Talk to an Elder Law Attorney?

Preparation is a key component when planning for the future. Choices about where to live, long-term care and how to protect assets are common age-related decisions. One way to keep these choices from becoming overwhelming is to seek the advice and guidance of an elder law attorney.

Planning Ahead

While many people feel they don’t need the help of an elder law attorney, there are instances where the guidance and legal support of an attorney may become necessary.

Often, people disregard the benefits of consulting with an elder law attorney because they see it as an unnecessary cost, especially when they do not have any persistent health issues. However, legal and health issues can arise suddenly and without the correct preparation, elders can have a difficult time recovering and managing healthcare expenses.

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The Benefits of Hiring a Geriatric Care Manager

Carole smile colour Mar 09

Family caregivers often overlook the benefits and peace of mind that a geriatric care manager can provide. Caregivers may feel that they know how to care for their loved one in the best way possible. But very few caregivers can manage caring for themselves, their families and elderly loved ones without feeling anxious and overwhelmed at times.

A geriatric care manager is trained and experienced in any of several fields related to long-term care including: nursing, gerontology, social work, psychology, or case management, with a specialized focus on issues related to aging and elder care.

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