How to find the right in-home help for your loved one

Hiring in help care
Hiring in help care

Caregivers care for 40 million Americans who live with a disability. We have the details on how to find the right one for your loved one.

Whether it’s a disability, mental decline, or just plain old age, millions of families are facing a cold hard fact -- their parents or loved ones need help at home.

But how do you find the right help?

“People tend to go online, read the different social media types of feedback or input that past clients have given,” said Herm Eick, director of Griswold Home Care in Winter Park.

Search for terms such as in-home care, home health care, or visiting agency nurse. And don’t be afraid to interview several of them.

“If they feel good with the first one they interview, fine, but if they need to do two or three to get that good feeling, then do it,” suggested Eick.

Be sure to specify health care training, driving and ability to lift when searching.

Most caregivers should be alert, patient, compassionate, trustworthy and dependable.

Also, for the contract, be clear about hours, wages, job descriptions and unacceptable behavior.

But ultimately, “the only true measure of success is the quality of the caregiver that we match up with the family’s loved one,” Eick said.

More states are allowing care recipients to hire and pay family members as their home health aides under what is sometimes called consumer-directed care. These are popular programs for obvious reasons: family members, some of whom had to quit or cut back on work to take care of a loved one, are now being paid at least a little money for all the care they provide.