The Caring Corner - Blog

Caregiving is a Personal Thing

By Emma Dickison

In-home care will never be a one-size-fits-all program. It’s personal.

 

When you first start to consider in-home care for a member of your family, you probably have a lot of questions. Your loved one probably does, too.

 

We have discussed several times the family dynamics of discussing adding a professional caregiver to your team, and we will continue to revisit that topic. But first, it may be a good idea to talk about how it actually works when a family chooses in-home care for an older person, someone recovering from illness or injury, or for someone who is living with a disability.

 

More than few of the inquiries we field at our locally owned offices are about how in-home care works.

 

What does the caregiver do?

How often are they there?

What kind of training do they have?

 

And of course,

 

How much does it cost?

 

And so on …

 

The actual response to almost all of these questions is often, “It depends.”

 

It depends most of all on the client’s individual needs, but also on his or her preferences. Not every person nor every family addresses similar situations in exactly the same way.  

 

That’s why we begin every engagement with an in-home assessment. It’s important at this point to make an objective evaluation of the individual’s living situation, their capabilities, what needs to be done on a daily and weekly basis and what other members of the caring team – the family-and-friends support system—can and are willing to take on. Usually, there are tasks family members prefer to hold onto and others they’re just not comfortable with.

 

Part of this in-home assessment process is determining what is specifically needed from the trained caregiver.

 

Next, we look at how the living environment is being used. Often there are simple changes that can make living in the same space easier for your loved one. These recommendations might range from preparing meal items in advance, to simple decluttering, to rearranging some furniture and repurposing living areas to make the home more user friendly.

 

For this part of the process, our professionals rely not just on their training, but on their experience. An important part of our Home Helpers culture is continuous learning from our peers around the country and from our work in the local community. Homes in nearby neighborhoods tend to share common features and challenges, and a connection to the community gives local owners a better understanding of the opportunities.

 

All of these approaches are employed towards one goal: To create a caregiving plan that is as unique as the person at the center of the caring team. An individualized plan must benefit your loved one and be grounded in tasks that can be easily and practically executed by each team member. After all, the most well designed plan will fail if it only sits on a shelf.

 

 So, the answer to “how it works,” is “It depends.” It depends on the unique needs of the individual, their family, their support system, and the availability of an experienced professional caregiving team dedicated to helping your loved one live life on their terms – individually.