As people reach their elder years, it can be harder and harder to manage day-to-day living in their homes. Although the elderly may need assistance with certain tasks like housecleaning, laundry, getting to doctors’ appointments, grocery shopping, and managing personal hygiene, it doesn’t mean that these individuals cannot live on their own. It just means they need a little help managing their daily lives. In Milwaukee County, family care services can help individuals facing these obstacles.
What Are Family Care Services?
These services are provided by trained home care staff. Caregivers are available around-the-clock or for a block of time during the day to offer services that range from housekeeping duties to transportation responsibilities.
Are Family Care Providers Medical Professionals?
Not always. While some elderly clients may need nursing services, the majority of the services that these agencies offer are not medical-related. A home care provider may help a client sort their pills or provide transportation to medical appointments, but most of the time this is the extent of medical intervention that will be provided. Procedures like monitoring blood pressure, injecting insulin, or other medical actions are not always necessary. If medical services are required, make sure the family care service is able to provide them.
How Do I Find a Family Care Provider?
Whether you’re looking for help for yourself or for a loved one, it’s important that you spend some time selecting your caregiver. There are a lot of fantastic services available, but there are also services that are poorly staffed and caregivers that have bad intentions. To find an honest and loving caregiver, follow these tips.
- Try to work with an agency that has a reputation in the community for excellence. You can find agencies by looking online, asking friends and family members, or even consulting with your doctor’s office.
- Whether you find an agency online or through your social circle, investigate their credentials and whether or not there have been complaints filed through consumer protection sites like the Better Business Bureau (BBB).
- Do your homework and check references. As you begin to collect names of caregivers, you’ll want to investigate their background by checking with their past and present clients. If a potential caregiver is reluctant to provide you with personal references or has several excuses why they cannot produce these references, consider this a red flag and move on from the person or agency.
- Insist on a criminal background check. If you’re hiring a caregiver through an agency, chances are that the agency has already completed this check. Ask for a copy of the background check and make sure it is current. Agencies should have current background checks no more than 3 years old available on all their caregivers. Make sure to ask for copies of federal and state background checks.
- Make sure the person you hire has experience with your particular situation. For example, if you’re hiring a caregiver to care for your elderly mother who is experiencing the early stages of dementia, it’s important that the person has experience with memory care.
After You Hire a Caregiver
Once you hire a caregiver, it is still important to monitor how well they are performing their job, especially if you’ve hired this person to look after your loved one and you’re not personally there every time the caregiver is in the home. While Milwaukee County family care agencies have monitoring policies in place, it’s still a good idea that you check in with your loved one every few weeks to make sure that they’re still happy with their caregiver. Sometimes, it may take going through the hiring process several times before the perfect match is made.
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