Alzheimer's is a disease that affects not only the patient but also the family. In fact, many families are not equipped to handle the disease as it progresses. If you are in this situation, you may be considering the option of hiring someone as a home health care worker. Before you begin to search for the right caregiver, there are some questions you should ask yourself.
What Time Do You Need a Caregiver?
You may be working during the day and find that you need a caregiver only during those areas. You may also find that you need someone at night to give you extra support. Keep in mind, as Alzheimer's progresses the patient may start to forget how to do simple tasks. They may also need more help with mobility and daily tasks such as bathing. If you aren't able to help your loved one with these tasks, or if you need help with those tasks, determine what time of day those tasks fall under. Also, consider that having help during the day may later change into needing 24-hour care from two to three caregivers on 8 or 12-hour shifts.
What Tasks Does the Caregiver Need to Provide?
You need to determine what tasks are the real issues. One example is that you may need someone to provide companion care. This means having someone there with your loved one to make sure they have someone to talk to, but also have someone available if they do need help. You may also need to have a caregiver cook one or more meals a day, do light housekeeping duties, or provide medication management services. Keep in mind, not all home health caregivers offer all these services. Some are strictly medical, so asking this question is vital to finding the right caregiver for your loved one.
What Certifications Do You Want the Caregiver to Have?
There are several certifications a home health caregiver or aide may have. Each has their own set of training. For example, a certified nursing assistant is trained for assisted living and nursing home care. They can make beds, offer baths, handle feeding if necessary, help with activities of daily living, and help with some medicine management. A patient care technician is usually certified by a hospital and may only be trained in specific areas such as radiology or care of cardiac patients. A general uncertified caregiver may be able to handle all the tasks you need, including basic housekeeping.
When you have the answers to these questions, you can begin looking for the right caregiver. These questions are designed to help you narrow down someone with experience, certifications, and how many caregivers you will need. You may come up with other questions as you move on, but these are a valid starting point. If you decide to use an agency, they will help you narrow down your home health caregiver for Alzheimer's disease patients with even more questions of their own.
Contact an Alzheimer's care facility for more information.