This post was originally featured in the September 2021 issue of Post City Magazine

Full-time care at home is costly, and there is no question that hiring privately, managing the caregivers and schedule yourself, will save money. It is often the best choice if you know the caregiver or care team well, or they come highly recommended by someone you trust. If your loved one’s needs are simple and not expected to change anytime soon, finding a caregiver yourself may be a good solution. You may already have someone previously focused on household needs, but you need them now to help with care needs, and because they have worked with you for years, it makes perfect sense to keep working with them as long as the needs don’t exceed their skills and training. Dementia or memory issues, and in particular when combined with mobility concerns, can lead to serious risks. As long as your current caregivers are able to handle these issues, managing it within the family can be a more affordable solution.

Some care situations however, may be too complicated to manage yourself. When dementia or serious mobility or health challenges exist, managing staff and the changing needs of your loved one, 24 hours a day, makes having a specialist firm of great value. Dementia can lead to exit seeking, aggressive behaviour, confusion and other manifestations that can be very risky and challenging for the untrained, and if not handled well the situation may be exacerbated. Firms who specialize in this type of care, bring very important value to help you and your family navigate these difficult circumstances:

1. In most cases, the caregivers have worked with the firm for years and they have a good sense of whether they will fit with your loved one. Firms fully vet and reference check each caregiver and will manage all payroll needs and deductions. Staff will be insured and bonded.

2. A daily journal can be designed specifically for your unique situation, which the staff complete and which is reviewed daily so any concerns can be rapidly assessed, shared, and managed. When there is a team of caregivers involved, ensuring they share information with each other, the firm, and family is critical.

3. If there is ever a concern about a caregiver, or your loved one’s needs change, or if they simply don’t respond well to the caregiver any longer, they can be replaced and the transition managed to minimize stress and confusion.

4.  With COVID-19, if the client or caregiver is knowingly exposed or has symptoms, quarantine requirements may mean a temporary and immediate change of staff – a good firm can handle this quickly. You will also get access to all PPE for normal care as well as what is needed if infection is present to allow for care to continue in the safest possible way.

5. Care may also include the need for Occupational or Physical Therapists, Geriatric Psychiatrists or other specialists. An experienced firm can help source and organize these elements of care as well as other needed appointments which a good firm handles seamlessly.

Knowing your loved one is well cared for provides great peace of mind. Knowing your care provider can adjust fast and professionally as circumstances change, keep your loved one safe, and help maintain a high quality of life for them, makes all the difference.