San Diego Caregivers

Before you make a phone call to one of the many San Diego caregivers, decide what home-care skills your elder requires and what specific tasks have to be performed.  Write the required skills and tasks down.  You can use this to then clearly communicate your aging senior’s specific needs to a caregiver.

For example, you may want someone skilled in managing the difficult behavior of a confused older adult or providing range-of-motion exercises to a stroke victim, or managing incontinence.  Tasks may include lifting, bathing, or even driving to medical appointments.

Should you decide to find San Diego caregivers by placing an ad in the local newspaper and hire someone on your own, the job description becomes part of the contract between employer and employee.  However, there are some great advantages in using one of the local San Diego agencies for your caregiver needs.

The usual way to find a home health agency is to ask your elder’s doctor for suggestions, search online, or even ask a hospital discharge worker for referrals, besides relying on word-of-mouth recommendations from friends.  Though absolute perfection probably doesn’t exist, realize that a high-quality agency would do the following before and during their caregiver services:

  • Keeping current employee references
  • Performing background checks
  • Bonding workers, protecting you in case of theft
  • Carrying workers compensation insurance, to cover any on-the-job injuries
  • Train and supervise workers to create a plan for care with input from family members and their senior client
  • Train employees in both general and specialized caregiving tasks
  • Train employees to be culturally sensitive, to accommodate an aged senior’s more traditional practices
  • Explain the training program to you with hesitation
  • Sending multiple caregivers for you to interview before hiring
  • Provide ongoing supervision
  • Send a substitute should your regular caregiver be a no-show

Advantages:  Most agencies screen applicants, hire them, monitor them, and terminate them when necessary.  This responsibility is great if the thought of firing someone is not something you can handle.  Agencies deal with taxes and payroll, provide backup, and assume liability.  They usually supply help on very short notice.

Disadvantages:  The agency may send out several different people to care for your elder instead of one regular worker.  This practice can upset or confuse many seniors.  You also may have little or no choice about the people they initially send.  Agency workers usually cost more than independently hired aides, but there’s no guarantee that a more expensive agency worker will be any better than a worker you hire independently.

Also, in-home workers may be limited in the kind of tasks they’re permitted to do.  For example, a worker may be able to cook and do laundry but not drive mom to the beauty parlor.  Check with your insurance carrier to be sure that your worker is covered adequately when driving your car.  Also, check with your household insurance (renter’s or homeowner’s) to see whether your household employee is covered in case he or she gets injured on the job.

Always inquire about skills, experience and training.  Does the applicant have any certifications or licenses?  Have they taken CPR courses?  Expect to do some training yourself.  Every senior is different, and every package of needs is unique.  A caregiver can’t know everything!

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One Comment

  1. Posted May 27, 2011 at 4:32 am | Permalink

    Check with your insurance carrier to be sure that your worker is covered adequately when driving your car.

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