Often, people in need of caregivers are not aware that they have options for getting help. Depending on what kind of care is needed and how long it will last, individuals may choose to use a registry or agency that matches patients with caregivers or they might hire someone independently. Both have pros and cons. Registries and agencies typically screen, train, and supervise caregivers. They also handle important paperwork such as contracts and payroll, and provide backup caregivers in case the regular person is not available. Hiring a caregiver directly can be less expensive, but it will take time and work to find, interview, and select the right person.
During interviews, look for credentials, licenses and state certification, and experience that align with the types of services being provided. Also, make sure that the applicant will be able to accommodate your schedule and if applicable, meet home access requirements for meal preparation, medication reminders and other care needs. Check references, including previous employers and past clients. Also, if the job will involve providing companionship, ask about the applicant’s temperament and how they interact with others.
For short-term caregiving that gives family caregivers a break, consider respite care, either in the home or at a boarding or adult family home. Families may choose to pay for the respite care out of their own funds or use insurance coverage such as Medicare and long-term care policies.
Caring for someone with cancer can be physically, emotionally and financially draining. It is important for caregivers to have some time away from their caregiving responsibilities, so that they can rest and take care of themselves. Having trusted help can free up valuable time to run errands, attend doctor appointments, catch up on sleep and socialize with friends.
If you are a family caregiver, AARP’s Family Caregiving website and toll-free resources can help you navigate medical issues, health records and advance directives, home safety, financial and legal issues and more. It is also a great resource for connecting with other caregivers.
AARP’s Make Your House Age-Friendly tool can help you determine what modifications, if any, are needed to make your current or future home age-friendly. And, if you have a story to share about your experiences as a family caregiver, we welcome you to join our I Heart Caregivers storytelling initiative. Your story can help us continue to advocate for more support for family caregivers. find a caregiver near me