AlzU Blog

Tips for Hiring in Home Alzheimer's Help-for Family Caregivers Part I

When family caregivers need Alzheimer’s help-to tackle all the daily tasks required in caring for a loved one with dementia, there are many factors to consider.  Two primary options for hiring in- home care include;

1.Hiring an independent private duty in home assistant (certified or non-certified)

2.Hiring a professional from a Home Health Agency to perform private duty tasks in the home

So let’s examine the pros and cons of each option listed above.  The obvious advantage to hiring an independent in-home assistant is that you can save lots of money by eliminating the expense of paying a third-party agency to refer a qualified employee.  The disadvantage is that you will be responsible for finding and screening your own help.  If you learn to do a simple online background check, and know what to screen for, this may not be as daunting of a job as it may initially appear to be.

Screening an In-Home Assistant

The first thing to consider when looking for your own private duty in-home assistant to help with Alzheimer’s care is to ensure the candidate is a CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant).  This indicates he/she has been trained in general caregiving tasks such as bathing and grooming, safety (such as;  assisting with transfers to and from a wheel chair, bathtub, shower or bed, and basic emergency situations such as CPR). CNA’s also receive basic training in medication administration.  Once you have done a background check, checked references and ensured the candidate is a CNA, you may want to go a step further and ask for an individual who is a Certified Alzheimer’s Caregiver.  These professionals are expert in their field, must be at least 18 years of age or older and have direct care experience caring for individuals with dementia (usually 6 months experience). 

Type of In-Home Care

There is a wide range of tasks that an in home CNA could perform in the home including;

Family caregivers can negotiate which tasks need to be done when a CNA is hired to help perform general responsibilities for their loved one with AD.  If you need minimal help with personal care, but need more household chores done such as laundry, shopping, transportation, cleaning, and help with bills, you could save money by hiring an individual who is NOT certified or licensed but who has experience in working with seniors, has good work references and passes a background check-such as a PCA or Personal Care Assistant.

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