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Is It Time to Consider Hiring Caregivers for Your Elders?

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By Amanda Lambert, NCGCM, CMC, NCMG

Determining when and whether it is time to hire a caregiver to come into the home of an elder is not an easy decision. And it is a decision that needs to be made by everyone involved; especially with input from the person receiving the care!

Nobody looks forward to this discussion, but here are some helpful steps to get the conversation started.  Let them know that you care about the following:

  • Their Safety:
    • Concerns about a person’s ability to navigate their home without the risk of falling.
    • Worries about cooking.  For example, forgetting to turn off the stove.
    • Poor judgment about when it is safe to go outside or letting strangers into the home.
    • Wandering.
  • That They Need Help with a Some Activities each day:
    • Problems getting dressed and undressed.
    • Inability to completely manage hygiene or take a shower safely.
    • Difficulty transferring from the bed to walker or wheelchair.
    • Unstable when trying to get out of a chair.
    • Not taking medications as prescribed or not taking them at all.
    • Difficulty paying bills or being financially exploited by scam artists.
    • Difficulty shopping for groceries.
  • Other Issues:
    • Depression and/or loneliness.
    • Isolation.
    • Problems with driving safely. Or, if the person doesn’t drive being able to access activities and social events that are important to them.
    • Poor nutritional habits or inadequate fluid intake.
    • Medical problems that require some degree of monitoring.
    • They may not realize that you are exhausted with caregiving duties and need help!

5  Tips to Increase your Chances for Success and Minimize a Meltdown!

  1. Respect: go into the discussion with respect for everyone’s opinion.
  2. Listen: Really listen to objections.
  3. Be Honest: Explain clearly and  exactly why you think hiring a caregiver is a good idea.
  4. Negotiate: offer a “trial” period.
  5. Be Flexible: be willing to take “no” for an answer and revisit at a later time.

 

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