About one-third of older Americans use paid caregiver help, and that number is projected to double from 13 million in 2000 to 27 million in 2050, says PBS NewsHour in a recent article.
As more Americans seek in-home help for older loved ones, it’s important to understand what options are available.
“Generally, two types of care in the home are available: home health care services and in-home care services,” explains PBS, adding that home health organizations and skilled nursing agencies are best for those who require regular assistance with health care needs, while in-home care services are best for those who need help with daily activities and personal care.
Those seeking assistance have the option of hiring an individual directly or going through a home care or home health care agency.
“A personal recommendation from a trusted relative or friend is often the best way to find a quality paid caregiver or agency,” PBS says. “In the absence of a reliable personal recommendation, try one of a growing number of online private duty matching services online, contact your local Area Agency on Aging to ask for organizations who publish a Caregiver Registry or Nursing Registry in your community, or check with your personal healthcare provider for recommendations.”
PBS addresses both the pros and cons of receiving services through a home care agency or individual care provider and provides a checklist for when preparing to hire.
“There’s nothing wrong with being picky about who you allow to provide care for your frail or ill older family member,” PBS says, noting the importance of background checks. “In fact, we recommend it. Stories fill the news about aides who take advantage of, rather than care for, a parent, spouse or other family member in their home. One way to avoid becoming a victim is to conduct your own attendant background check.”
Read the story here.
Written by Cassandra Dowell