For Active Adults whose kids are in high school or college, the days of interviewing and hiring a caregiver are a distant memory.
Members of the “Sandwich Generation,” however, often must dust off the old caregiver questionnaires and go through the interviewing and hiring process all over again – this time for their elderly parents.
Home Health Services caregivers usually are licensed nurses and therapists, who provide treatment for “homebound” patients – those who have a medical condition for which their healthcare provider recommends they remain at home, or which requires extreme effort (such as use of a wheelchair, walker, etc.) in order to leave the home.
Depending on eligibility and extent of services, HHS services are often covered by insurance and/or Medicare/Medicaid.
Activities of Daily Living (ADL) services include meal preparation, medication monitoring, light housekeeping, and assistance with bathing, dressing and grooming. Some ADL services may also include transportation or errands. Costs for ADL caregivers are rarely covered by insurance, with most costs paid for out-of-pocket by the individual.
Caregivers can be procured privately or via an agency. Either way, experts recommend interviewing the caregiver prior to hire. Your caregiver interview should include:
- Background check and references – these are usually kept on file by an agency. You will need to conduct your own background check if hiring a freelance caregiver.
- Licensed, bonded and insured – again, agency caregivers are usually licensed, bonded and insured. Freelancers may also carry a license and insurance, and be bonded. Regardless of whom you hire, you’ll want to make certain this is the case.
- Training – does the caregiver have safety and emergency training? Are they certified in specialized care situations? Are they involved in ongoing training to maintain certification?
- Cost and how payment is accepted – determine up-front if they are an independent contractor (a freelancer) or regular employee (agency), and whether you will need to withhold taxes or simply report their employment. How often are they paid and what forms of payment are accepted?
- Schedule – will your caregiver be available “on-call” or on a set schedule?
- Written agreement – whether you work with an agency or draw up a freelance contract, it is always a good idea to have an attorney look over your agreement to make sure all bases are covered.
Members of the Sandwich Generation find it easier to juggle responsibilities when they enjoy where they live and are surrounded by neighbors and friends with similar life-stage experiences. Each Windsong active retirement community was designed with Boomers in mind, with home designs that maximize accessibility, minimize hassles and provide opportunities for homeowners to simplify, enrich and enjoy their lives. Attractive floor plans, low-maintenance exteriors, accessibility and natural light abound, as do neighbors with similar priorities and responsibilities.
We’re the experts at simplifying your life, which is why we say at Windsong, Life’s a Breeze!