Home Health Care: An In-Home Caregiver Can Help

Home Health Care: An In-Home Caregiver Can Help
Many family caregivers arrive at a moment when they need help at home. There are signs such as acknowledging a loved one has a need for constant supervision or needs a hand with everyday activities.

And while it is important to have breathing space, caregivers can feel uneasy about passing along their duties. Home health care encompasses an array of health care services that can be set up in your home.

What does home health care include?
Home health care services as services that allow adults who are getting their strength back following a hospital stay or who call for further support to continue their lifestyle at home. Such services may include short-term nursing, therapies, or assisted home health care. Depending on how mobile the patient is, the caregiver may also provide transportation to doctor appointments, errands and shopping, allowing the patient some freedom to do the tasks he or she used to perform unassisted.

Choosing a home health caregiver
Before considering hiring a caregiver, you should take credentials and licensing into account. You may also want to consider background checks, references, whether to have a contract as well as finances and taxes. Friends, neighbors, coworkers or other caregivers could be asked for referrals and another alternative may be to place a public notice at the library, hospital or place of worship. Using a senior care agency or home care agency to help can also offer some advantages.

To move forward, write a job description that you can share with applicants. This might include tasks that will be required, the hours and days of the job as well as personal references. The job description and tasks might be carried out through an initial interview by telephone. For example, asking questions about work experience, hours of availability, driving experience and any kind of special training, with conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.

How much to pay your home health caregiver
Deciding how much you are prepared to pay the applicant is also something that should be prepared in advance. You may want to check with the Internal Revenue Service for appropriate tax forms and information.

The Administration on Aging (AoA) is a US Department of Health and Human Services agency that encourages the health interests and comforts of older individuals by making services and programs available that assist them to live independently in their homes. The AoA has provided home services, such as transportation, adult day care and caregiver support to millions for more than 30 years.

According to the Huffington Post, more than 65 million people, or just about 30 percent of adults, currently make care available to a chronically ill or aging family member or companion. The Huffington Post also found regardless of the rising necessity for such services, $21,000 per year was the median annual wage for the country’s caregivers.

You may feel some guilt about choosing a non-family member to take care of your elderly or ill loved one, but doing so can free you up to take care of the rest of the family — and may even afford your loved one more privacy, mobility, and dignity.

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