Taking care of the elderly can be a full-time job. That’s why it’s vital to seek a professional caregiver to relieve you of the challenging tasks. When seeking a respite caregiver, you want to be sure that you hire the best person who’ll make the life of your loved one comfortable.
With an excellent caregiver, you’ll have ample time to relax or attend to other duties with peace of mind, knowing that your loved one is under good care.
Today, there are so many caregivers out there, and you need to do in-depth research and identify the most suitable person for the job. You may need to create a list of several caregivers and analyze carefully one-by-one until you get the right person who will meet your expectations and the needs of your loved one.
What is Respite Care for the Elderly?
A respite caregiver is someone who takes care of the elderly. The person doesn’t need to have a background in healthcare but should be able to portray specific characteristics to take care of others.
Characteristics of a Good Caregiver
Older people need a respectful caregiver. This should be someone who holds others with high esteem, no matter the challenges they may face when caring for your loved one.
As people age, their thinking capacity reduces, and become more dependent on others. Sometimes, they lack self-control and want to do things their way.
That’s why it’s crucial to find a respectful caregiver who can bit all odds to ensure that they handle your loved ones with great care even if they become frail or senile. In short, the caregiver should not only work to be paid but also build a great connection with your loved one.
The right caregiver should be sympathetic. This is one of the most highly sought after qualities of excellent respite care. Older people can quickly get confused, especially when the things they used to do easily become challenging. In this case, a caregiver needs to connect and empathize with the clients and take them through whatever they need.
A professional caregiver will understand that an older person’s thinking capacity is quite different from other ages. The person should know that older people have different emotions and various life struggles.
A reliable caregiver is always there to care for your loved one. They ensure that their clients eat and take medication at the appropriate time. When the elderly want any form of attention, the caregiver should be readily available to offer help.
It can be challenging when your loved one needs help, but the caregiver doesn’t show concern. The effect can be so traumatizing and dramatic. Therefore, ensure you choose a dependable person who does all that is required within the expected timelines.
Taking care of the elderly can be challenging and upsetting if the caregiver doesn’t exercise patience. It’s easy for one to become irritated and frustrated, leading to aggression toward your loved one. This mostly happens when an older person experiences a memory lapse often.
If it’s someone who often gets angry, it means that they’ll not be able to care for your loved one well. An excellent caregiver should handle all situations, no matter how frustrating it appears, without getting resentful.
The right caregiver knows how to exercise patience and remain calm during challenging moments. For instance, if their client refuses to take medication, the caregiver should encourage them to take the pills in a friendly manner.
5. Cost of the Care
With hundreds or even thousands of caregivers around you, each may have different charges. That’s why it’s critical to determine the cost of respite care before hiring the person. You want to be sure that the fees are within your budget to avoid incurring additional costs that you didn’t plan for.
Compare charges from different caregivers and settle for one within your budget. It’s also vital to compare the costs against the services offered by each caregiver. You do not want to pay more money for fewer services when several other caregivers provide additional services at a pocket-friendly cost.
A caregiver should be hands-on, always doing work practically to help the elderly. The person should bathe the elderly. Guide them on using the toilet, dress wounds, and provide period care. These are sensitive tasks that need a strong and courageous person who is determined to offer the best.
An excellent caregiver should handle all challenges that the elderly might face, including cleaning bodily fluids. The person should be able to provide care without letting the elderly feel ashamed or embarrassed.
An elderly can quickly lose memory within a short time. This can result in the person walking away from the facility unconsciously. An excellent caregiver should remain watchful and understand when their client’s reactions or moods change.
They should also guarantee their clients’ safety by keeping a close eye on their movement within the facility. The caregiver should again watch for signs of reduced appetite, weight gain or loss, mood changes, and high rates of irritability. This could be a sign of underlying conditions that the caregiver shouldn’t overlook.
Many caregivers can provide essential caregiving services. However, not all have adequate experience in the job. Ensure that the person you entrust your loved one has an in-depth understanding and can offer comprehensive caregiving services.
This is very important, especially if your loved one has dementia. You want to be sure that the caregiver can handle the patient with such a condition.
Does Medicare Cover Respite Care?
When respite care is part of the recipient’s hospice care, then Medicare covers for the patient. This is only with the condition that the patient first meets Medicare’s requirements for hospice.
To become eligible for the hospice through Medicare, the patient needs to get certified by a physician or a hospice doctor for illness termination. There should be acceptance of palliative care rather than curative care with a declaration of the patient’s hospice choice. Medicare only covers a patient at a Medicare-approved facility and pays for five-day care at a time.
The Bottom Line
When you give the best care to your loved one, it makes you fulfilled and at peace. It’s a rewarding step to take, even though it can also be overwhelming. However, your effort to get the best caregiver supersedes any challenges that you may have faced in the process. Following the qualities above will help you get an excellent caregiver that will give you the best bang for your buck.