Balancing Home Care Between Family & Agency Caregivers
When hiring a caregiving service, many family caregivers remove themselves from the situation. They envision care as a two-part equation. Care recipient on one side. Home care agency on the other.
In truth, family caregivers are a crucial part of this equation. Caregiving is easier when family members and professional caregivers support one another. It allows you to split caregiving responsibilities more manageably. It allows you to focus on the care duties you’re most comfortable with. And it helps you avoid caregiver burnout, which is common among family caregivers.
Preventing caregiver burnout is equally important for your personal well-being. Caregiving is supposed to improve or maintain quality of life for your loved one. But that shouldn’t come at the cost of your own quality of life. Without support from professional caregivers, you could be putting your own physical, mental, and emotional health at risk.
So when you’re hiring home care services, it’s important to keep your own schedule, needs, and well-being in mind. And you’ll want to do the same for any other family caregivers who provide care for your loved one.
Coordinating Care with Home Care Agencies
When you’re hiring a caregiving service, there are several areas where it helps to coordinate care between family caregivers and home care professionals.
Below are 6 areas where this can make a big difference in quality of life for the care recipient and family caregivers.
- Care Scheduling. When scheduling care visits, you’ll want to consider your loved one’s routine. At the same time, you’ll want to preserve time for your own activities. A great care agency can schedule care in a way that balances these needs.
- Care Responsibilities. With a home care service, you can split care responsibilities more manageably. Agency caregivers can take on tougher tasks or those that require special knowledge or skills.
- Respite Care. Family caregivers need periods of respite to avoid caregiver burnout. A great care agency will understand this. They’ll help you attend to your own well-being, and they’ll be there when you need a few hours (or a few days) to yourself.
- Cooperative Care. Certain care activities are much easier to perform as a team. As such, it can be helpful to hire a professional caregiver to assist with certain aspects of care (as opposed to providing care only when you’re not around).
- Companionship. Many families worry about their loved one’s safety and well-being when left alone. With a home care service, you can reduce your loved one’s alone time by ensuring a family member or care professional is there.
- Flexibility. What happens if your loved one’s condition changes and they need different types of care? Or what if you have sudden change in your personal life and can no longer provide care as often? Will the agency be able to adapt their services to your needs? Or will you need to start looking for another care provider?
Finding the Right Home Care Provider
Choosing the right home care provider will make coordinating care between family caregivers and care professionals much easier. So, it’s important that you keep this in mind during consultations with care providers.
When you meet with care agencies, you’ll want to focus primarily on your loved one’s needs and routines. But at the same time, you should find time to discuss your own needs as well as those of other family caregivers. Can care be scheduled in a way that makes your life more workable? Are there care tasks that you’d rather have performed by a professional? Will you need respite visits to allow for self-care?
At the same time, you’ll want to develop a rapport with the agency and its home care providers. These are the people who you’ll be planning, coordinating, and working with throughout the duration of your loved one’s care. As such, it’s important that you start with a foundation of comfort and trust.
These are qualities you’ll find with your local Visiting Angels®. Our care directors and care providers know how important family caregivers can be and how big a role they play in the care equation. Because of this, we go the extra mile to work with our clients’ family members and to provide family caregivers with the support they need.