Do your homework when choosing a caregiver

Williamsburg Landing, upon request, provides residents home care aides who are professionally screened and interviewed. However, residents can also choose to hire caregivers on their own. Unfortunately, many are not aware of the risks that can occur when bringing outside services into one’s home without thorough vetting, as we have recently learned in our community.

The following information provided by Partner in Care and Aging Care should serve as a guideline when choosing a home care provider.

Home care aids can provide helpful support for those in need of additional care to stay safely in their home. Under the direction of a registered nurse, home care assistants can help with daily activities such as bathing, dressing, light meal preparation, transportation, shopping, laundry and medication reminders. The services are flexible to meet one’s needs, whether for 24-hour care or only an hour a day.

The first step in hiring in-home care is to research, consult with and select a reputable home-care company. Typically, an in-home assessment will be arranged to meet you and your loved one. You will then be given the opportunity to personally interview prospective caregivers.

Some companies will conduct the intake process for new clients by phone, while others may prefer to schedule a face-to-face meeting to discuss your needs and their services in detail.

Look for these qualities when you choose a caregiver:

» Experience: References are a helpful measure in addition to previous experience, especially if you have a loved one with dementia.

» Expertise: Verify candidate’s training and certification — visit dhp.virginia.gov/nursing for information.

» Compassion: Empathy and attentiveness are crucial to fostering a trusting relationship with your loved one.

» Patience: One of the most important qualities to look for, again, especially for a loved one with dementia.

» Communication: Problem-solving is a huge part of providing care and requires excellent communication skills.

If you are in need of support services in your home, please visit our website for a list of specific questions to ask a home care provider and applicant (WilliamsburgLanding.org). The questions will help you gather information about a company’s services and gain a deeper understanding of its dedication to quality care and customer service.

Any reputable home care company should be willing and able to answer these queries.

Nancy Barhite, R.N.

Williamsburg Landing

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