Getting Started

Even though bringing a professional caregiver into your home may be essential, the idea is sometimes resisted. It is important to respond to this issue with understanding. Some common concerns are:

Maintaining Sense of Independence

Many people view accepting a stranger’s help as an insult to their independence. What they may not realize is that they may have already accepted help in the form of neighborly assistance or family visits. It is important to involve the person needing care in the entire process of hiring and supervising the in-home worker.

Fear of Depleting Saving

It may be helpful to compute the cost of home care over a year so that the exact cost can be seen relative to the benefits received. Compare this to the cost of moving into an Assisted Living or retirement community.

Fear of Reduced Contact with Family Members

Assure the person receiving care that family contact will continue. Offer frequent phone calls and set dates for social contact. By stating clearly that the intention in hiring help is to prolong the ability to provide care, the family members can sometimes show the care recipient that this action is the very opposite of abandonment.

Fear of Victimization

A new home care worker may represent a threat. After all, this is a stranger who is gaining access to the individual’s personal items. People who may have hearing, vision or mobility deficits may feel very vulnerable. Ways of dealing with this issue may include:

Obtain Referrals from Friends: An employee of a trusted friend can be an excellent prospect.

Be a Physical Presence: It is sometimes wise for a family member or friend to be present during the first few sessions. Later, this person or others can make occasional, unplanned visits.

Carefully check references.

Worry About Lack of Supervisory Skills

Older people may need to learn how to provide clear instructions and appropriate supervision to inspire confidence in his or her abilities.

Have a job description prepared before any interviews take place.

Compile a checklist of tasks to be performed. This checklist should be given to the worker before each session so that tasks are clearly stated and can be verified if not performed. This checklist also structures the relationship on a professional foundation.

Discomfort Beginning the Process

Start slow. It may be wise to start with a small amount of hours of in-home help and gradually increase the hours as the recipient becomes comfortable.

 

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