It can be a daunting task to find a good eldercare service if you’ve just recently become the primary caregiver for one or both of your elderly parents—especially if you live in a different city or state.
You probably have no idea where you should even start, who to ask, where to turn.
Though you may laugh, the search for a good eldercare provider isn’t all that different from finding the right college for your kids.
In a way, your parents will be initiated into a kind of community. At the very least, it will most definitely change the way they live their lives.
And you want to make sure that this community is a good fit— that it’s affordable, that they’ll be well taken care of, that it doesn’t try to force them to do things that they shouldn’t be doing, that the people there will be welcoming.
Set your expectations ahead of time.
There so many different eldercare services available that it’s beneficial to start with a list of requirements.
Consider the following:
- Allows your parents to live as independently as possible by catering to their strengths allowing them to do whatever they are able to do safely on their own.
- The service is certified to provide any and all assistance that your parents may need.
- Affordable costs (some eldercare providers will only provide a limited number of services for a flat fee, and charge extra for additional services)
- Desirability of location— if your parents will be moving into a residential community.
Find the right type of care.
Once you have developed a list of basic requirements, you can start looking at the different local providers— from family caregivers, in home care services, all the way up to memory support at a skilled nursing facility.
- Housekeepers can be hired to take care of the cleaning, laundry, yard work and running errands.
- Homemaker Services, like housekeepers, can oversee the upkeep of the home, and sometimes offer personal care services, too.
- Adult Day Programs offer skilled care throughout the day (and sometimes overnight) for older adults who are still living at home.
- Independent Living provides recreational, social and transportation services to older adults who purchase or rent an apartment or condo within the community.
- Assisted Living offers comprehensive help with daily life within a residents on-campus home or apartment.
- Skilled Nursing Facilities provide around the clock care for elderly adults by licensed health professionals.
- Dementia or Alzheimer’s Units offer comprehensive assistance and memory support from licensed health professionals in carefully designed environments.
Search out the best eldercare provider.
When you know what type of care your parents need, you can start looking for the service or community that’s the right fit.
Find out what your social circles know. Twitter and Facebook can tell you everything (good and bad) that you need to know about a care provider. Once you’ve narrowed down your list, follow or “like” those providers so you can keep an eye on the comments posted to their pages or tweets made about them.
Talk to People
Ask friends, co-workers, your favorite grocery clerk which providers they use for their own parents—what services they would recommend or which they wouldn’t, for that matter. Getting the opinion of people you know can mean that you’ll get a franker evaluation.
Finding the right eldercare provider for your loved ones can be a difficult task, but, with so many resources at your fingers, it doesn’t have to be painful process. If you take your time and do your research, you can be assured that your parents will be happy and well taken care of.