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Most seniors prefer to age at home surrounded by friends and family members they love. Healthcare experts indicate that only 3.6% of seniors over 65 years old are in nursing facilities.

Female home health aide visiting senior patient in her home during the COVID-19 pandemic, both are wearing masks to avoid the transfer of germs.

This means that most seniors prefer to utilize home health care services and have an in-home caregiver take care of them. When hiring a home care aide for your elderly loved one, consider the following qualities.

Skills and Experience

You want a home health aide who will care for your senior loved one with exceptional and professional care. This is especially the case when your elderly relative lives with a chronic condition such as osteoporosis, dementia, high blood pressure, or chronic kidney disease. These conditions require special care, and only a trained home health aide can handle such needs professionally.

That’s why a home healthcare agency engages caregivers who have extra training, like having a certification in dementia care or being trained to facilitate activities of daily living (ADLs). When seeking home health care services from the top agencies, ask for a caregiver who has the necessary skills and experience to handle your senior’s conditions. It’s important to be forthright about the medical needs of your elderly relative so that your healthcare agency matches you with the perfect caregiver.

Look for a Patient Caregiver

Taking care of the elderly is no easy labor, and not everyone is cut out for the job. Caregiving needs more than passion and compassion, mainly when dealing with seniors with Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia, or Down syndrome. Seniors with dementia can be tough to handle because of the uncertain cognitive and behavioral changes they repeatedly experience. Even you and your family members may take a long time to adjust to these changes. That’s why you must seek a patient home health aide who doesn’t get infuriated quickly.

A Good Caregiver Is an Excellent and Efficient Communicator

Ideally, when you enlist home health care services, you’re looking for an in-home caregiver who will care for your aging relative during the day and the nights that you’re away from home. In essence, you and your caregiver will work as a team in shifts, meaning that you’ll have to communicate efficiently to facilitate smooth transitions. You or one of your family members will have to take over the caregiving duties when your caregiver’s shift ends.

The transition process will require efficient communication to hand over duties properly. Here, small details make the difference. Your home health aide should accurately manage and hand over the medication schedule and report how the senior responds to the medication. The caregiver will advise and remind you when and how to administer medication. This way, you won’t dispense the wrong medication or at the wrong time when it’s your turn to take care of your elderly relative.

Choose a Caregiver With a Flexible Schedule

At times, you’ll need your caregiver to extend care services when you have unexpected changes in your schedule. For instance, you may have an emergency at work that requires you to stay away for a night or two. When you know your home health aide has your back, you’ll have more peace of mind because you can ask them to fill in on your behalf. In cases where your caregiver cannot extend service due to other commitments, your home health care agency will send you another caregiver urgently.

The demand for home health care services is rising, and the trend is expected to continue as the senior population increases. According to the Population Reference Bureau, the number of Americans aged 65 and older will be nearly 100 million by 2060. This indicates that the senior population will double within 40 years. The CDC attributes this rapid expansion to the baby boom generation and the baby boomers’ long life spans. Thankfully, you’ll find many home healthcare agencies in a state near you that provide home health care services for your elderly love one.

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