Did you know that back in the 1950s, people aged 65 and older only made up 8% of U.S. population? Then came 2000, which showed an impressive increase to 12%.
Now, experts forecast that in 2050, this will grow up to 20%! This is definitely good news, seeing that it represents an increase in people’s life expectancy in the country.
At the same time, it also highlights the inevitable increased need for senior care services and support. It’s most likely for this reason you’re seeking to hire a caregiver. And why you’re wondering what to ask a caregiver.
Hiring a caregiver for in-home help is one of the biggest decisions you’ll ever make. Whether you’re the one in need of such a service, or if it’s for an elderly loved one.
Worry not, as we’ll help. We’ve listed some of the most important questions to ask your prospects.
1. What Kind of Experience Do You Have in Caregiving?
Not all caregivers are the same. That’s the first thing you need to know as you search for in-home healthcare providers. They come in various types, with some offering non-medical services, while many others do.
Let’s start with the caregivers serving as companions and aides for the elderly.
These professionals specialize in assisting seniors when it comes to non-medical tasks and responsibilities. This is a good option for older adults and even those with disabilities to continue living independently in their own homes.
These caregivers provide assistance in many ways, such as with the laundry, scheduling doctors’ appointments, and picking up drug prescriptions. They can also help with hygiene and grooming. Cooking meals, reminding their patients to take their medicines, and some light housework are also part of their responsibilities.
Next, we have the caregivers who are licensed healthcare professionals. In other words, they can deliver medical care and related services right at the comfort of their patient’s home. Their responsibilities revolve around the primary doctor’s orders.
It’s for this reason you’ll find nurses and physical therapists working as caregivers.
This said, it’s vital you base your decision on what you or your elderly loved one needs. Of course, it’s best you go with the latter if there’s a need for specialized health and medical services.
2. Did You Undergo Formal Caregiving Training?
Another difference between caregivers is the training they underwent. Some received formal training, while others had informal experience.
In essence, formal caregivers are those who completed formal education and training. They may have obtained this from a vocational school. Note that they may have also acquired this through credited elder care programs.
Keep in mind that not all states require caregivers to have these qualifications. But it’s something that you, either as the patient or the family member of the elderly adult, would still want to consider. After all, having formal training means both in-class and actual hands-on experience in caregiving.
And this means having the knowledge when it comes to elderly safety information. Emergency response is also a major part of this. And there’s the skills and know-how when it comes to preparing special dietary foods for seniors who require them.
3. Do You Know How to Provide CPR?
Did you know that more than 350,000 cardiac arrest cases happen in the U.S. every year? And unfortunately, many of these occur outside of hospitals. Furthermore, the majority of these take place in homes.
The most concerning statistic is that sudden cardiac arrest ranks third in terms of causes of death.
These should already make you realize how important it is to have a caregiver who knows how to provide cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). In fact, as a family member of an elderly adult, it’s best you also know how to deliver this life-saving skill.
4. Have You Had First-Aid Training?
The ability to provide first-aid care is an essential skill caregivers should have. This is especially true for caregivers of the elderly, seeing that older adults are at greater risk of getting into injury-causing, even life-threatening accidents.
There are falls, for instance. These are the primary cause of both fatal and non-fatal injuries in the elderly adult population in the United States. That’s because 25% of people aged 65 and older suffer from a fall every year.
And even minor falls can put the lives of the elderly at risk. Especially those who already have severe osteoporosis and arthritis.
This is one of the main reasons you should choose a caregiver who has extensive knowledge in providing first-aid. Because this can make all the difference when an accident does happen.
5. How is Your Health?
Knowing exactly how healthy and fit a caregiver is as important. After all, their primary responsibility is to look after you or your elderly loved one. And they can’t do this if they are of poor health.
You should also make certain to ask prospective caregivers about TB tests and immunizations. The last thing you want is for disease to spread, whether from patient-to-caregiver or the other way around.
6. Can You Provide References?
This is an important question to ask whether you’re interviewing an individual caregiver or someone who is with an agency. A good care agency, by the way, won’t have to wait for you to request to provide them references. But in any case, you should still ask the caregiver in person about this.
For the simple reason, you want to make sure you’ll hire someone who is fit for both the physical and the emotional demands of caregiving. Always keep in mind that caregiving isn’t an easy job. Especially when the patient has specialized health needs.
Ready to Ask a Caregiver if He/She Is Fit for the Job?
If so, then make sure you list all these questions to ask a caregiver down. This way, you’ll have an easier time selecting from your numerous prospects. Anyone can say they can provide care services, but not everyone can deliver exceptional caregiving services.
And, if you need more tips on finding the right caregiver, make sure you check our blog out. You’ll find more useful advice there that will help you make the best selection.