This post is Part 3 of a previous post on Resources for Caregivers.
When most Caregivers think of finding resources to assist them, their first thought is most likely about hiring someone else to help them in their home. There are many other types of resources to find, but since this is the first thought for many of them, they frequently brush it off their whiteboard of solutions. There are two big reasons why this may not be feasible for them.
First, hiring someone else to help can become expensive. Oftentimes insurance does not cover this cost, or it only covers it for a short period of time. Therefore, the Caregiver is looking at their own pocketbooks to make this happen. All too frequently, the pocketbook is already stretched thin from having lost the income of the stroke patient themselves. Or, the funds to hire someone else simply don’t exist. When this happens, the Caregiver, who is already strapped for time, energy, and money simply knows it is not affordable to hire in-home help. Thus, they continue to be the in-home Caregiver in addition to all of their other duties.
Second, if there are some funds available to hire help, the sheer stress of finding adequate in-home help causes the Caregiver to simply give up and do all the caregiving themselves. Reasons for this difficulty include:
- Finding an agency that provides in-home Caregivers.
- Making sure that agency is reliable and is bonded.
- Making sure the person the agency sends to your home is reliable and bonded.
- If there are no trustworthy agencies, finding in-home help through referrals can be challenging. There’s a lot of people out there who are willing to take your money without the qualifications and integrity to do so.
- Creating a methodology with a set of instructions for the In-home Caregiver is daunting.
- Training the In-home Caregiver is time consuming and when the actual Caregiver leaves the home, there’s no way of knowing exactly what the hired In-home Caregiver is doing.
- All of the above involve a high level of trust. After all, you are essentially letting a stranger into your home, with your valuables and your patient while you are away.
I know that all of the above reasons caused me to avoid hiring other help to assist with my Caregiving duties. It was actually more work to do the above tasks than than to do the Caregiving tasks themselves.
It wasn’t until 25 years after John’s stroke that I hired help for the first time. It was when I went on a two week vacation to Peru that I hired a Caregiving nurse to assist John for 4 hours every morning with bathing, dressing, getting breakfast and dinner ready. I had a local Senior Citizen meal program deliver the noon lunch each day. Then I hired a reliable friend to sleep in our house at night so if anything happened overnight, John would have assistance. As I had always been aware, coordinating and training all of these parts of the Plan was extensive. However, it was accomplished and I left for Peru knowing that all was as good as it could be for all of us.
Finally, I was able to afford the Caregivers and they did a fabulous job while I was away.