Professional elderly caregiving is growing throughout the country and has been a mainstay in the western world for many decades. But what is it really? On a home level, it’s simply a family member taking care of an older family member.
It’s helping with feeding, dressing, getting around the house, going to doctor’s appointments, being a listener, providing companionship and making sure they take their medicines, what we term as “Activities of Daily Living (ADL).”
Caregivers, whether from the family or professionally trained outsiders, aren’t nurses, and they certainly aren’t doctors. They are people who provide care, particularly for people who can no longer be alone. If you cannot handle your senior family member, your ill spouse or an Aunt, here are a few things to consider when hiring a professional caregiver.
- What do the company’s patients and clients say about their service? Do they offer testimonials from patients or is it all just sales hype on websites and magazines?
- Do they have a solid history and track record in home care or is it mainly glossy ads in websites and magazines?
- Are they attached to any credible health care organization or just a standalone team of caregivers?
Quality of Service
- Can they give you a documented care plan committed to achievable care objectives which you can track to know if your loved one is progressing or regressing in happiness, independent living or health?
- Do they have active training and certification programs for their caregivers?
- Do they have any international certification program affiliations?
- Do they actively solicit feedback from their clients and patients as part of their quality standards? Do they make this feedback available to you?
- Do they commit to a primary/backup caregiver for your care or is it a new nurse each week creating much stress for you and your loved one?
Cost of Care
- Are they transparent about the costs involved or does it look deceptively cheap up front in comparison with looming hidden costs appearing once care gets underway and you are committed?
- Does the price look too good to be true? Cheap and good care do not go hand in hand. Shortcuts will be taken to save cost and the resulting care may suffer in quality or substandard materials may be used on the patient.
Safety and Security
- Does the organisation have in place control processes needed to ensure caregivers do not spread diseases and biotoxins from house to house?
- Have all caregivers been background-checked and vetted by the company?
- Does the organisation take steps to ensure that your property and belongings are safe while their staff are in your home?
Remember you don’t have to go at it alone. There are many resources online. In fact, there are a few Facebook groups focused on senior care, including Seniors Aloud and Ageing Alone Malaysia. Have fun checking them out.
This article is written by Andrew Mastrandonas, Co-founder & CEO of Pillar (www.pillarcare.com) and reviewed by Dr Lim Geng Yan (MD). Pillar provides a range of elderly home caregiving services, sending trained and certified professional caregivers and nurses to clients’ homes. For more information please visit https://care.pillarcare.com/fmtpromo