More than 70 percent of families caring for an older adult feel their aging loved one simply needs more support than they can provide. (Source: Honor)
(PRWEB) November 13, 2015
November is “National Family Caregivers Month” across the U.S. In recognition of this month-long designation, Honor™ (http://www.joinhonor.com), the new home-care solution that helps older adults live and thrive in their own homes with comfort, joy and grace as they age, takes a look at what really matters to families in the throes of caregiving for their elder loved ones. Plus, the company provides 10 valuable tips for families seeking qualified support from a home aid or helper – guiding them in the most important things to inquire about when vetting a caregiver service.
While caregiving is an activity driven by love, this often under-acknowledged role can be overwhelming – creating both physical and emotional health effects for those in the trenches. Many caregivers struggle, solely on their own, to support their parents, grandparents, or even spouses – receiving no outside help.
Honor recently commissioned its Fall 2015 Family Caregiver Study (Source: Honor, October/November 2015) to purvey deeper attitudes among caregivers about their role and the responsibilities associated with long term home care for aging family members. The results showed that most family caregivers interviewed are in need of assistance.
- More than 70 percent of family members caring for an older adult felt that their loved one simply needed more support than they were able to provide.
- More than 40 percent of those surveyed pointed to the dilemma of balancing caregiving with other life and family commitments as their biggest stress point.
- Thirty percent of respondents indicated that caregiving had taken a physical, as well as emotional toll, on their health.
When families do decide to seek outside support, it’s essential to find the right help. The following checklist – the “Top 10 Questions to Ask When Seeking a Care Professional” – can aid local area residents looking for a qualified home care professional and provide guidance during the interview process:
1. Evaluate the Type of Assistance Needed: What type of professional caregiver are you seeking? Determine whether you need a social companion, someone to provide physical assistance such as bathing and dressing, or a trained medical staffer who can administer medication and attend to more serious health needs.
2. Professional Caregiver Selection: How are care professional candidates screened and selected? It is critical to ensure that any home-care provider you choose thoroughly vets candidates with comprehensive criminal background and reference checks. In-person interviews by a qualified care professional evaluation team are highly recommended.
3. Duration of Support: How long do you need home-care for your family member (quick pinch-hitting support, regular care for a set number of hours each day or week, or full-time, around-the-clock support)?
4. The Importance of Organization: What tools will the professional caregiver or caregiving team be able to offer family members and other professionals involved in the care? What means do they have for tracking the specifics of their home-care stay? Caring for an aging loved one, especially someone with multiple health issues can require extensive logistical support and coordination.
5. The Use of Technology: What technology tools are available to help coordinate care? Not all professional caregivers or services are alike. Only some use technology tools to monitor and track home-care, and only one – Honor – uses a dedicated Care Pro App and Family App to provide tools for both professionals and family members to stay abreast of care issues, communication, next steps and client feedback.
6. Transportation Requirements: Do you need a care professional that can drive your loved one to doctor appointments and to run errands? If so, it will be important to select someone with a current, up-to-date driver’s license in the state where your loved one resides and ensure that the caregiver has an excellent driving record. Also, it’s not enough to go “curb to curb”— make sure the service can actually bring your loved one from inside their home, and directly to a seat inside the doctor’s office.
7. Cooking and Cleaning: What skills can the caregiver offer to assist in running the household? If basic housework and meal preparation is an essential requirement for your loved one, ensure that the care team you select is experienced in these areas – and that expectations are clear and mutually agreed upon in advance.
8. Alzheimer’s and Dementia: Is the caregiver experienced in the area of Memory Care? More than 5.3 million Americans are now dealing with various stages of memory loss and its related conditions. Memory issues are a significant factor is assessing the right home care partner. Older Americans who are dealing with dementia may require a caregiver who is more patient and understanding and who has specialized training to assist with the particular needs that accompany this illness (including preventing falls, wandering, bodily harm around the home, and other elements of care safety specific to memory loss).
9. Attendance and Reliability: What is the caregiver’s arrival and attendance record? It’s critical to work with a care team that respects promptness and arrives on-time. Additionally, consider working with a service such as Honor that can help provide a replacement if a care professional is unable to make an appointment due to illness or other emergencies.
10. Family and Elder’s Bill of Rights: Remember, you are selecting care for the people who you cherish the most – your aging parents and other close loved ones. The family and the older adult client always come first and family caregivers who are retaining care have the right to understand the services being provided for their aging parent, and to give and receive feedback in a timely communication. According to the Family Caregiver Study, half of family caregivers would opt for more or better communication about their loved one from professional caregivers. Services like Honor aim to change the experience for millions of American families by enabling that kind of communication on an unprecedented level.
For more information about how Honor can help local families in a care transition for their aging loved, please visit http://www.JoinHonor.com for more information.