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Ensuring your parent's safety with in-home care providers

Having in-home care for your parent can give adult children a great sense of comfort and relief. Many people in this situation are happy that their parent can stay in his or her own home without feeling like they are responsible for a mom or dad’s health and safety.

That said, it is still essential to check in on elderly loved ones. Not all patients have a good experience with care providers, and in some cases, the people in their homes could be putting your loved one in danger. There are a few critical steps you can take to protect your parent if they receive, or will receive, in-home care.

Hire carefully

Be an active part of the hiring process, if you can. Weeding potentially harmful applicants out before they ever meet your parent can be the easiest way to keep him or her safe.

Conduct background checks; look into references; restrict searches to only those who are trained and qualified to provide in-home care. This AARP article on hiring in-home caregivers also recommends going through an agency or seeking personal referrals.

Check in frequently

After hiring someone to be in your parent’s home, you should be diligent about checking in. Visit the home unexpectedly, talk to your parent and get to know the caregiver, if possible. This can allow you to address any immediate issues before they get out of control.

However, you should continue to check in on your parent. People can become complacent, which can allow dangerous situations to grow and get worse. And be sure that you look for any signs of neglect or abuse, be it physical, emotional, financial or sexual.

Consider alternatives

As much as we might want our parents to stay in their homes and get the care they need, at some point, it may not be a feasible arrangement. Perhaps quality care is becoming too costly, or your parent needs more help than a single caregiver can provide.

In these situations, it is wise to assess the reality of in-home care and determine if an alternative option may be best. For instance, it can be more comforting to know your loved one has full-time care in a nursing home facility rather than hire more people to provide in-home assistance.

Taking these steps can make it easier for loved ones to find a care situation that best protects their parent.

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