Hiring Caregivers: Health Information for Older People

My mom needs more care than my siblings and I can manage. To complicate matters, I live in another state. Our mom wants to stay in her home, but we’ll need to hire someone to help her. Where should we start?

Caring for a parent, spouse, or someone else you love can be a tough balancing act. Help from home health workers is one way to make it work. But before you hire someone, figure out what services you need, and what services you can afford. For an overview of home health care services available and advice on how to find a qualified and trustworthy home care provider, visit the websites for the National Association for Home Care and Hospice, and the Visiting Nurse Associations of America. To find out about specific services and agencies in a particular community, call your local Area Agency on Aging. You also can use Medicare’s Home Health Compare tool to find Medicare-certified home health care agencies. For the average cost of home health aides and other care in an area, visit the National Clearinghouse for Long-Term Care Information.

Long-distance caregivers may face added challenges. Depending on your financial situation, you might consider hiring a local care manager to coordinate your loved one’s care. Cost and services vary. Visit the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers to learn more.

Whether you plan to hire a caregiver or take that job on yourself, other useful resources include the Family Caregiver Alliance and AARP’s Caregiving page. For information on caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease, visit the Alzheimer’s Disease Education and Referral Center.

As you think about hiring someone to care for a loved one, it’s a good time to learn how to recognize the signs of elder abuse.