Getting Help

Biggest Challenge: Getting help

--Dana

Response from DM:

Dear Dana,

Your challenge, “Getting Help,” covers a wide arena. But let me start by saying that one of the hardest things for the primary caregiver to do is to ask for help. Find out if family, friends, neighbors or community groups are available to help in some small or major way. Sometimes others may not have time for hands-on help with your loved one, but they may be able to contribute in other ways, such as making a financial contribution or by utilizing a particular skill.

If you reach the point where you need to hire an aide, whether it’s for a few hours, several days, or 24/7, always ask for references and then check those references. If you are hiring someone from an agency, they may already be pre-screened and well trained. Ask the hard questions and make sure there is a clear understanding of what your elder’s needs are, what is expected of the aide, and what the hours and duties will be. Make sure to discuss salary and holidays. If you are very clear upfront, there will be fewer misunderstandings down the road. When you have narrowed the choices down to two or three candidates, involve your senior in the final decision. After all, he or she will be the one directly dealing with the aide on an ongoing basis. You want the match to be harmonious so that you, as well as the aide and your elder, are satisfied. It takes a while to find the right person to bring into your home to care for your elder, but it is always worth the time it takes to have peace and safety prevail.

Sincerely,

Dr. Marion

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