How to Find Mom the Perfect Caregiver

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My Grandmother is now 94. As an aging-in-place senior, she continues to live on her own. Recently she's needed caregiver assistance, as she's not able to cook on her own anymore. I remember it was a hard process for my mom and her siblings to go through. Initially, my Grandmother resisted the idea of a stranger coming into her home and helping her with day-to-day tasks. Now she enjoys the help and companionship the caregivers provide for her. She's thankful that she is able to stay in her own home and maintain a good level of independence that she might otherwise not have.

As a leader in medical alert devices, Alert1 understands the difficulty of finding caregivers to help with a loved one. My family's experience is just one of many in finding a good permanent solution for loved ones. My hope is that this article can help you and your family find excellent care for your mom too.

Decide the Type of Care Needed

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The most crucial decision your family needs to make is the type of care needed. This is where you need to be honest with yourself and your mom. Does Mom need someone there in the morning to help her shower and do household chores? Does she need someone in the afternoon to keep her company and help run errands? Or does Mom need someone there all day, because she shouldn’t be at home alone anymore? Once you know the range of hours she needs the caregiver there, it'll be a lot easier to find the right person.

Convincing Mom

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Is Mom resisting the idea of having someone come into her home every day? She claims that she doesn't need the help, or that she doesn't want them to bother. You know that you can't be there for her all the time. Your own job and family takes up the majority of your time.   

 Start with a compromise. Tell Mom that the caregiver will only be there when you can't. Set a trial period for a couple of weeks to see how the experience goes. Remember, it will be an adjustment period for everyone involved.

If Mom still resists, talk to her doctor. Her doctor holds a lot of sway in her life. What you have been saying to her for months may suddenly sound reasonable when it comes from a medical professional. Doctors understand these worries coming from the children of elderly individuals. If appropriate, her doctor can recommend in-home caregivers so Mom can stay in her home as long as possible as she ages.

Starting the Search

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Mom's doctor will be able to help you start your search. Doctors can recommend great resources for finding care. Also ask friends, family, and neighbors if anyone they know uses a caregiver. You can get honest feedback on what they have and have not liked about the care-giving process.

When you start interviewing caregivers, check their references. Don't be afraid to call and ask their old employers how their experience was. Include your mom in the interviewing process, so she can feel more in control about the decisions that are being made. You'll know you've found the perfect caregiver when Mom approves.

The Trial Period

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Make sure Mom’s new caregiver knows that you want to try out the schedule for a couple weeks. The caregiver will understand. They'll be able to provide flexibility in the event that the schedule needs to change. Routinely check in with the caregiver and your mom to see how things are going. Check-in after the trial period to make any adjustments.

Remember the Process

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There will be ups and downs when finding Mom the care she needs. Remember that it is a process. Your mom will have good days, and days where nothing can go right. Take a deep breath and keep going. Once a routine is established, Mom will feel better knowing what's going to happen. If the schedule isn't working, change it! Just like life, care-giving isn't set in stone.

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