Family caregivers often find themselves in the uncomfortable position of having to trust people that they don’t know well. There are several occasions where this might happen. If you are new to the role of being a family caregiver, you might need to accompany your dad to a doctor’s appointment or go with your mom to her hairdresser’s salon. These interactions require a certain degree of trust, but your dad or mom probably already has a trust relationship that you can also adopt. Not so when it comes to allowing complete strangers to come into your mom’s home in a health-related capacity. When home health, hospice, or even private duty home care aides are needed to give your aging family members the care they need it’s easy to understand why you might have questions or concerns.
Whether this situation arises with long-term hired help or in utilizing short-term respite options, someone needs to make every effort to determine the trustworthiness of the person or people to whom you are entrusting the care of your aging parents. This job usually falls to the family caregiver.
If you are working with a professional service that hires individuals to provide home health, hospice, or home care services, check to see if they are licensed by your state, and if they are insured against theft to protect your loved ones’ valuables. Ask if they run background checks, do drug testing, and check references. A good company will do all of these and have reviews online as well. These will tell part of the story but maybe not all of it. Hatchet jobs are common in today’s “cancel culture” so ask for personal testimonials from current or former clients if you still have reservations. A trustworthy company will be able to provide these in short order.
If you are thinking about hiring privately, interviews are a good starting place, but professional references and even background checks are also important elements in determining the safety and comfort of your mom or dad. These might be difficult for you to obtain as a private citizen, but they are significant considerations.
Recommendations from others in your community are beneficial, but you still need to do your due diligence when hiring an individual or organzation you can trust with providing care for those you love. And, as with all things, you will want to cover this entire process with prayer and ask God to lead you to the right people or resources that will lead to the best outcomes for both you and your aging family members.
Chris and I hope you’ll join us this week at Heart of the Caregiver and share your heart about finding others you can trust to provide care when you can’t be there.