Sandwich generation dilemma: The ultimate guide to hire a caregiver for elderly parents

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By: Good Nelly
on 13th Jan,2016

Jenna Brown, 86, had a stroke last month. But the, old lady refused to stay there.
Sandwich generation dilemma: The ultimate guide to hire a caregiver for elderly parents


Jenna Brown, 86, had a stroke last month. Her doctor suggested her family (daughter) to keep her in hospital for thorough check up. But the, old lady refused to stay there. The scenario became difficult as her only daughter is working and has her own family, kids and duties. She wants to keep her mom at her home for giving personal care but doesn't have time! Jenna's daughter was confused about the situation. The working lady at last found a local agency for seniors' help in a daily newspaper . The agency provided them 2 caregivers who have been actively working in two shifts for looking after old Jenna.

The “sandwich generation” finds themselves in dilemma as they have double responsibilities - (a) taking care of their kids and immediate family (b) looking after their elderly parents. On the other hand, several baby boomers are struggling as they won't have children or spouse. This type of homely matters are increasing day by day. According to U.S. Census Bureau reports, 19 million of Americans will be above the age of 85 by 2015.

Senior caregiver may be the best solution to this problem as current generation has tremendous pressure upon them. People find themselves in mess because of too many responsibilities - elderly, infirm parents, own families , kids, managing their career.

Sandwich generation family can hire an efficient caregiver for their elderly parents to maintain the normal balance and happiness in their sweet home!

Places to find out an efficient caregiver for your elderly parents

Try to find out the perfect caregiver for your loved ones more diligently. It would be an added bonus if the caregivers are medically trained professionals. They can manage small medical issues and have the ability to manage household chores as well. Here are some places where you can find out a caregiver for your elderly parent.

  • States employment office
  • Websites
  • Job agency
  • Doctor's references
  • Craigslist
  • Verbal promotion (references from your workplace, church, neighbor)
  • Ads available in newspaper

Different types of caregiver for different needs

There are many types of caregiver available. But the decision depend on many issues, such as your budget, your elderly parents need, personal preferences. Some elderly persons require companionship, some need help with household task, some need help in nursing, taking medicines, having meals, bathing or other personal care. Caregiver's responsibility may vary from source to source as some agencies have their own rules. So try to verify all the requirements about the caregiver's duty before appointing him/her for your parents. Besides, try to recruit a caregiver from a reliable source as many families experienced problems because of their inefficient caregiver.

North Carolina-based newspaper columnist, Ruth Johnson said "I've known a lot of caregivers, and it's a revolving door out there. You really have to be careful. It's not a job that always attracts the best people.” She's surprised at how many people hire caregivers without due diligence.” Here goes some tasks a caregiver may provide for your best suit.

Work related to housekeeping - All household chores in a home. (cleaning, cooking, caring)
Work related to skilled caring - Managing the health condition as per the need. For example, physiotherapy.
Work related to personal caring - Helping with meals, giving companionship while driving and visiting to doctors, giving assistance for taking medicines.
Work related to health care - A trained caregiver will take care of elderly parents with their bathing, dressing and all sort of personal care. A caregiver nurse will supervise them about exercise, medication and health improvement.

Don't miss out: Tips that can help the sandwich generation to survive

Basic guidelines while hiring a caregiver

Try to check out all the information (name , address, past history, skill) about your caregiver before you hire anyone. If you find your caregiver from an agency, then ask for the details from them. Remember, do not reveal your personal information until you hire an efficient caregiver. Following list will help you in the hiring process.

Review the caregiver's identity - Ask the caregiver for his/her valid ID proof. If the caregiver doesn't have any ID proof, then simply don't appoint for your elderly parents.

Review the caregiver's references - It is better to recruit a caregiver with a good referral. Try to know the detailed background of the person (criminal history, driving record). Your local police station will help you to get the information. It will cost a small fee though.

Keep the papers - Try to keep the copies of all necessary certificates of your caregiver.

Take care of your assets - Try to keep all your valuable assets in a secured place ( jewelry, guns, valuable papers, cash, credit cards, bank accounts, passbook, checkbooks).

Ask your elderly parents preference - Always consult with your loved ones while hiring a caregiver for them. Try to give them preference as the whole process is just for them.

Surprised check or visit: If you want to judge the efficiency of your caregiver, you need to visit home unexpectedly sometimes. This will work as a alarm to your caregiver.

Fix the meeting: Try to consult about the health condition of your loved ones with the caregiver. Keep updates on a regular basis. Find out if the caregiver is coming on time or doing the job efficiently.

Inform your parents' insurer - Contact the elderly person's insurer and find out if they will give the coverage for both your parents and for the caregiver incase of accidents in home or while driving.

Keep a second address - Make sure you have a secured second address to divert all your mails. This way you can stay away from scams.

A licensed marriage and family therapist Bunni Dybnis, who is also a member of National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers said, “The most important part of hiring a caregiver is to first know what you need. Everybody's going to be different, and probably 65% to 70% of those who need caregivers will have dementia, which brings a whole different light to it".

Matters related to aging parents are not so smooth. It requires your patience and caring attitude simultaneously. It will be your biggest blunder if you neglect your loving parents as you are over ambitious about your career. Take a positive approach while dealing this situation. Besides, your parents' expectation is valuable too. If you successfully handle the situation and give value to your parent's expectation, you will find “peace of mind” in the long run.

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