At various points in our lives, we all need a little assistance. Sometimes, a caregiver is necessary to help with daily routines that might be difficult to do solo. Many people are willing to do this task, but what if you have a specific person in mind whom you would like to become your caregiver?
Here, we will discuss the necessary steps that must be taken to make someone your official caregiver. There are many routes you might go about this. Read on to learn more about how to make someone your caregiver and each step in the process.
Make Sure Your Caregiver Understands Your Needs
This is not an official item, but it is critical. Before someone signs up to take care of you, make sure that they understand your needs. You do not want to bring someone on long-term who cannot handle taking care of you to the best of their ability. You deserve excellent care.
Some needs that you might tell them about include:
- Medications that are vital to your health: If you have a medicine you need daily or weekly, ensure that they understand when to get it to you or refill it
- Daily or weekly routines: Routines are important to discuss early on so that the caregiver can get used to what they will be doing
- Specifications with meals and bedtime rituals: If you have specifics with your meals or bed routines, make sure that they know of these ahead of time
Anything vital to your health and wellbeing needs to be discussed before bringing someone on. Even a loved one should be properly informed about these things. Being on the same page is the first step to bringing someone on as a full-time caregiver. It will solidify your ability to continue to communicate later down the road.
The best way to establish a healthy relationship with a caregiver is through honest communication. As long as you can communicate your needs honestly, your caregiver should be able to meet your needs.
Check on Aid Programs
Many programs exist in the United States of America that will assist caregivers in pursuing the occupation full-time. Though the individual and yourself may not qualify for all of them, they should be sought out just in case.
Aid programs will allow your caregiver to receive compensation as they spend their time, energy, and resources. They allow that person to focus their attention on you rather than on financial needs.
Many government-based programs seek to aid caregivers and those that they are caring for. They might provide compensation, wages, or even supplies to those who need it.
It is important to check these because they might lower the cost of many crucial items. They allow support that will make both of you more comfortable and safe.
If you are of lower income, you and your caregiver might be able to receive the benefits of Medicaid. This program is of great value because it can reduce the overall cost for both you and the individual who will be caring for you.
- Provide payments: This program might provide financial benefits to the caregiver to help both of you with this exchange
- Provide coverage for equipment: This may cover equipment such as wheelchairs, oxygen tanks, or modifications required for the home
- Provide homemaker support: This includes cleaning services, repairs, and other items that have to do with the home
The benefits provided by Medicaid can be very helpful for both you and your caregiver. The requirements are different in every single state, so it is crucial to take note of that before depending on Medicaid for support.
Medicaid also covers a wide variety of types of home care, from health care to hospice. Whatever your circumstances are, it is worth it to check out if you possibly qualify to receive the benefits of Medicaid.
Administration on Aging
The Administration on Aging is another service that can provide benefits to caretakers of those who receive assistance because of their age. On their website, they discuss several programs that can assist caregiver, such as:
- The National Family Caregiver Support Program
- The Lifespan Respite Care Program
- RAISE Family Caregiving Advisory Council
This site is adamant about the fact that caregivers are necessary, but it can be tiring. Direct your caregiver to these sites so that you can both take care of each other at the same time. The administration on aging provides emotional support and other kinds of support for those ensuring that you are living your most comfortable life.
If you are a veteran, some programs exist that might be able to help you and your caregiver. It is critical to check on these two since they are likely free and will help you both out in the long run.
Veterans programs have been long-established. Several trustworthy ones will allow you to receive compensation that might benefit your caregiver.
Veteran Directed Care Program
The Veteran Directed Care Program supports aging veterans by giving them a stipend. This can be used to hire a caregiver and support them financially in other ways.
To qualify for this program, you must:
- Be eligible for community care
- Meet the clinical criteria
- Have the program accessible in your community
- Be a veteran
If you meet all of these criteria, you can receive financial compensation. This can go towards paying your caregiver and providing them support for your care.
Aid and Attendance
This is a program that operates through the Department of Veterans Affairs. This program adds a monthly amount to benefits that veterans or wounded individuals should already be receiving. This extra amount is intended to go towards paying for home care and services.
Individuals can qualify for this service by:
- Being a veteran
- Not have received a dishonorable discharge
- Must meet congress income requirements
- Being at least 65 OR disabled OR a disabled patient
If you qualify for this service, the income can go towards paying your caregiver a monthly salary. It can also be used for equipment, tools, and medication that you need for your caregiving to prevent your caregiver from paying for these items.
Some certifications may be beneficial for your caregiver to achieve before they commit to your full-time care. These can come in help during times of medical crises.
Though they may not be necessary, it may make you feel safer to know that this individual has these abilities under their belt. Suggest them before making anything official and explain why it matters to you.
First Aid Certifications
First aid is crucial for any caregiver. The classes involved in receiving this certification will provide necessary life-saving skills that can be helpful for both of you in the future. Even if you do not feel as though it will be necessary, it is something to consider in the rare instance that you need support given through first aid.
A caregiver can receive their certification either online or in person. Many great programs are affordable and easy to access.
Red Cross Certification
The Red Cross is a top provider of first aid courses and certifications. These classes come in a combination of methods:
- Online Only: This class can be taken at one’s leisure whenever they would like
- In-Person: This class is taken in a room with the instructor and other learners, which allows hands-on experiences
- Hybrid: This combines online instruction with in-person interactions, allowing both methods to help the user
These classes can cost anywhere from $30-$200. It depends on your caregiver’s experience and the type of class that they are taking. They can all be taken over the period of one to a few days and will allow you to feel safe in case of emergencies.
If your caregiver cannot afford the class, recommend that they do research on basic first aid procedures. Much of the class material can be found online. This will give them a general knowledge of the subject if a time arises when they need to use it.
National CPR Foundation
The National CPR Foundation also provides several classes and many first aid options. Unlike the Red Cross program, they only offer one version of the class. This is an online format that costs about $13.
For the price of the class, the student will receive:
- A certificate: The trainee will receive a certificate of completion that they can display or hold on to
- A wallet card: The trainees will receive a certification card that they can carry around with them
- Quality training: The trainees will receive an excellent training session complete with all the first aid basics
This class is not quite as in-depth as the Red Cross version. However, it will suffice if you would like your caregiver to possess a knowledge of these items.
The same companies stated above also provide CPR certifications around the same prices. CPR is even more critical to know than first aid, as it can be the difference between life and death in scary situations.
Your caregiver should know CPR because:
- It might prove beneficial to health scares
- It can help you feel more at ease
- It can help in other areas of their lives
If you feel as though your caregiver should know CPR, discuss this with them before they get started. Explain your reasoning, and offer compensation if they need it.
There are many services that you and your potential caregiver may need to consider. These can ease the duties of many housekeeping that might prevent them from providing you with the proper care that you need.
These services are beneficial. Caregiving is a team effort, and adding these to the mix will let your new addition focus all of their attention on your support.
Meals on Wheels
Meals on Wheels is a food service that provides food for those who cannot go outside and get it for themselves or for those who are not able to cook on their own time.
Meals on Wheels will also provide:
- Human connection: if your caregiver is absent, Meals on Wheels will provide a human that will give you a meal and conversation
- Nutritious meals: Meals provided through this program are nutritious and will provide a healthy diet
- Provide meal support: If you can only cook a few times a week, these meals can provide extra support when you are not able to provide, or your caretaker is absent
You can talk about this program with your potential caregiver. This can help them know when to be in or out of the house and if they need to invest in groceries. It will also help them if they are providing you with hot meals.
Maid services can come to your home and provide a variety of housekeeping duties that will take the stress away from both you and your caregiver. There are even some programs that will cover compensation for this service.
Maid programs that come to your house can:
- Keep your floors clean
- Provide dishwashing services
- Assist in laundry
This service does cost money, but it will allow your caregiver to focus all of their attention on you and your wellbeing. If you can, do some research on the support that you might be able to receive for this housekeeping program. Make sure that you receive help from a quality service if you decide to embrace this option.
Note Tax Deductions
The person that you bring into your home might be able to write off tax deductions that occur during the length of their stay. It is important to hang on to receipts and other items that might be able to be written off.
Your caregiver can write off taxes if:
- You depend on them
- You did not make greater than the tax cutoff amount
- You are dependent on them
It is important to research before writing anything off of taxes. YOu can discuss these potential write-offs with them before they take on the status of a caregiver as a full-time position. They should know if they can handle it financially.
Papers are unnecessary when bringing someone on to become a caregiver. However, you may want to type up some kind of contract if you feel strongly about certain terms and conditions that you feel your caregiver should consider.
You might consider creating a contract if:
- You need official financial boundaries
- You have a necessity you want to confirm
Do not trap your caregiver into signing a contract. If you would like to take part in this step, make sure you discuss it and allow them to read it before following through. If both parties are okay with this legal agreement, you may proceed.
Some may feel uncomfortable with the issue of legal documents in a caregiving arrangement. In this case, you may need to talk about verbal agreements and promises that you would feel comfortable with.
Discuss Live-In Status
After you have taken care of everything on paper, it is time to discuss matters that will pertain to your care. Will it be necessary for the caregiver to live with you full time? Would they need to be here part time? Should they always be on call?
If your caregiver is a relative, chances are that the live-in option will be the best. They can be ready and available whenever you are in need. If they are not, it might be best for them to go home to their families at night.
Caregivers that live at home might require:
- Vacation days: Both of you might designate vacation days for your caregiver that allows them time to be home, during which you might use an extra caregiver
- Weekend home visits: You might develop a relationship in which your caregiver is there during the week and goes home on the weekend, depending on how much help that you need
You will work these things out before your caregiver begins full time. Make sure that they know how often and how much you are going to be needing them. If you need them to be with you full time, ensure that they know that right away rather than withholding that information until they have already begun.
Establish a Routine
Once you have taken care of the paperwork, financial needs, and any other necessities, it is time to establish your routine. You can start getting used to:
- The wake-up time: Let your caregiver know what time you would like them to wake you up or be there in the morning
- The leaving time: If they go home to sleep, make sure you designate a time in which they can depart
- The food schedule: Set meal times in stone so that one is not missed, especially if this is critical for your health
- Free time: Establish when free time is, or when you should be together
You might even write out a physical schedule, to begin with. After a while, this will become more and more natural. You can adjust to your caretaker and relax, allowing them to help you live the fullest life possible.
The information contained above is provided for information purposes only. The contents of this Blog article are not intended to amount to advice, and you should not rely on any of the contents of this Blog article. Professional advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from taking any action as a result of the contents of this Blog article. OccupationaltherapyBlog disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on any of the contents of this Blog article.