How To Select The Right Caregiver For Your Elderly Loved One

Welcome back! Today, we will be discussing the continuation of an earlier post entitled, “Selecting The Right Caregiver For Your Elderly Loved One”. After several visits with my Mother, a few educational meetings, and even more research, I can add a bit more information to the earlier post. So in an effort to give as much helpful information as I can, Please enjoy Part 2 on selecting the right caregiver for your elderly loved one.

What Kind of Care Services Are Out There?

There are a few different types of in-home care services available for those seeking assistance with the care of an elderly loved one. These are most commonly known as ‘non-medical home care’, ‘medical home care’ and ‘professional care managers’.

The non-medical companies can be a helpful choice as they handle housekeeping, meals, bathing/grooming, bathroom assistance, errands, transportation, and companionship activities. The instrumental activities of daily living are usually covered by these non-medical companies. It is important to note that Medicare does not cover the costs of these non-medical services. The costs for these services are typically paid out of pocket (or, private pay) or with Long Term Care Insurance. Make sure the companies providing these types of services are licensed and bonded and available 24/7.

Medical home health care providers typically provide medically related services such as skilled nursing, physical and occupational therapy, to name a few. These services must be ordered by a doctor and are typically handled by Registered Nurses and Certified Nurse Assistants. Medicare will pay for medical home health services for a certain term or timeframe when ordered by a doctor.

How Can A Care Manager Help You?

An additional resource you can utilize is a Care Manager. An Aging Life Care Professional or geriatric care manager is a health and human resources specialist who acts as a guide and advocates for families who are caring for older relatives or disabled adults. The Aging Life Care Professional is educated and experienced in any of several fields related to aging life care/care management including but not limited to nursing, gerontology, social work, or psychology, with a specialized focus on issues related to aging and elder care. These professionals will monitor the situation and make assessments, help plan and problem solve, help educate those concerned and advocate and coach. Typically these services are paid out of pocket/private pay and they can be costly. However, they can be an excellent resource for long-distance caregivers.

Here are a few sample questions to ask when engaging outside services:

  • How do you hire your caregivers?
  • Are the caregivers bonded and insured?
  • What credentials are required of caregivers who are assigned to my situation?
  • Are your caregivers getting continuing education?
  • How long has this company been in operation?
  • What can you tell us about your reputation?
  • Does the company have a Personal Staffing Service Agency license?
  • Is the company certified by Medicare or Medicaid?
  • Is the company certified by professional organizations?
  • Is the company accessible by telephone 24 hours a day?
  • Can you meet special needs?
  • Can we visit or have a free consultation?
  • When can we begin service?
  • Does the company manage the client’s billing?
  • What are your rates?
  • What are your minimums?
  • Can you respond quickly to our needs?
  • How can we cancel a scheduled caregiver? and
  • May we check your references?

Hopefully, this information will help you as you consider in-home assistance for your elderly loved one. For more information on how to best care for your elderly loved one, Check out more of our in-depth blog discussions on a wide range of topics. We are here to help you and another thing that can help is our podcast where we discuss elderly health care, housing, finance, legal and even end-of-life processes. Click here to listen to our podcast. You can visit us online at or visit us on social media on our Facebook page. We look forward to hearing from you and helping you give the best care for your loved one that you can!