Many caregivers find themselves overwhelmed and exhausted by the process of seeking out the best Senior Care for their Parents and loved ones.
Perhaps that’s why a recent study found that nearly 85% of Baby Boomers and Generation Xers responded that they want their parents to age at home instead of in a facility.
There’s no doubt that high-quality senior care partners can vastly reduce the stress associated with caregiving while also greatly enhancing your loved one’s life. But as with most things, the devil is in the details. Here’s our insider’s guide to choosing the best care option for your parents.
- Be Cautious with Referral Websites. Senior care companies pay referral companies such as A Place for Mom or Caring.com thousands of dollars annually to list, rate and refer their services. Collectively, these dollars fuel huge budgets for online advertising which allows these companies to consistently outperform smaller, local companies. While sites such as these are helpful, it is also important to read reviews provided by customers on the listing as well as on ratings sites such as Google.com for a clearer picture of the quality of service provided.
- Evaluating the Caregiver Experience. When you tour a community or first engage with a home care company, you’ll likely be interacting with administrative or sales and marketing staff. Once you select a provider, you and your loved one will spend most of your time with the caregivers who deliver the service. That’s why understanding how a company treats its direct care workers is fundamental to a thorough decision-making process. In addition to simply visiting the company website, look up the Company’s employee reviews on websites like Indeed.com or Glassdoor.com. In just a few minutes, you can sign up for a free account and read reviews from every level of employee within the organization.
- (Carefully) Rely on Referrals. Overwhelmingly, informal caregivers rely on online search and local referrals from healthcare providers or friends to select a care provider. But, it’s important to understand that the senior care experience is distinct for every individual. While medical professionals have a general idea of appropriate levels of care and can help recommend and refer providers as appropriate, very few are trained on the direct care aspects associated with caring for a loved one. Their goal in making a referral could revolve around keeping your loved one safe; while yours may be to help your loved one stay at home as long as possible. Understand and clarify your goals prior to meeting with your chosen healthcare professional for the best result. Additionally, understand that personal referrals are usually a sample size of one. When asking a friend or family member for advice, dig into the details to better understand their needs and experience. Some helpful questions to ask might be… “Who did you interact with most often? When you had questions, were they promptly answered? How often did you visit?”
We hope these tips are helpful as you begin your search for the best senior care solution for your parents! We send encouragement and well wishes to you as you undertake this important and difficult task.