How to Become a Senior Home Care Professional
Senior home care is not a choice for the elderly. It is something that they have to accept, even if it means giving up everything they have built their lives around. But what does senior home care entail, and how do you know if it is the best option for you or a senior loved one? There are a dizzying array of possible services to assist elderly people in home care everything from medical assistance to personal human assistance, from home maintenance to therapy, from social workers to professionals trained in dementia care.
The first thing you need to know is that there is no “best” answer to this question. Each family is unique, each senior in-home care situation is different. One person’s situation may require a little bit of extra attention while another may call for just a little bit more assistance. There are some broad guidelines you can use to sort through the options for senior in home care in order to find the best match for your family. If your senior loved one lives alone, she or he may benefit from the additional personal care and attention that come with having a live-in aide. If the senior in home care is confined to a nursing home or other similar facility, then being alone may be enough.
Another important factor that you should take into consideration when considering senior home care is the level of independence of the caregiver. Many seniors become quite attached to their caregivers during their years of service. They become close friends who spend much of their free time together. While this is not bad in and of itself, especially if the senior in home care has grown quite fond of the caregiver, eventually the caregiver may begin to feel out of place. A less intrusive arrangement may be the best solution in this case.
For some, a stay in an assisted living or skilled nursing facility is preferable to living in a traditional senior home care situation. These services provide daily living support and the necessary assistance for basic tasks such as bathing, dressing, getting dressed, exercising, and so on. Some assisted living facilities also have activities designed to help seniors remain mentally active and independent. Some facilities even provide specially designed amenities to fulfill these needs. Assisted living usually offers much lower costs than in-home care as well.
However, if the senior in home care works directly with the patients, and their loved ones, they may not be able to leave their jobs. In this case, either the employers of the in-home care workers or home care workers themselves must provide for the needed assistance. If the caregivers do not wish to leave their jobs, and have a job of their own, they may want to discuss direct hiring with the employers.
Dementia can be a debilitating disease for seniors. It often takes years or decades to experience the symptoms and loss of memory associated with it. The earlier in life that dementia can be detected, the better for the caregiver and the patient. Early detection of the disease greatly lessens the number of years spent caring for someone with dementia.
The National Certification Board for Home Health Care Workers (NCHW) recommends that in order to become a certified home health care worker, a caregiver must have a minimum of two years work experience. There are several reasons why an in-home caregiver should have this amount of work experience. First, being certified will ensure that he or she is trained in the areas in which he or she will be working. Second, working with those who are just beginning to experience memory loss and dementia can be particularly daunting.
There are several benefits to hiring home health care professionals to care for your elderly loved ones. These professionals may include licensed social workers, licensed psychologists, home health care counselors, licensed physical therapists, nurses, home health aides, and in-home care attendants. Senior home care professionals who have at least two years of experience will also be more likely to have extensive training in caring for seniors with dementia. These professionals should also have a good understanding of how to deal with emotional problems and how to encourage independence in seniors with dementia. If you are interested in becoming an in-home caregiver, contact a senior care agency in your area today.