When it is time to consider more than companion care, then it is time for live-in overnight home care, but before you take this step there are a few things you need to have in place before bringing someone into your home.
What You Need for Your Overnight Caregiver: Practical Aspects
Before you have someone come to your home to provide overnight care for your loved one, be sure to have a few things ready for their arrival:
- A Room of One’s Own: First, and most importantly, you will need to provide them with a dedicated spare room for them to stay in. They will need a bed, dresser and perhaps a chair to sit in as well as a lamp, all the normal things one might find in a bedroom. This is important because they will need a place to sleep during the overnight hours.
- Storage Space for Items & Access to Additional Rooms: Secondly, as they will be staying overnight, they will need room to keep hygiene items such as toothbrush and soap. If you have an extra bathroom, this would be a good place to designate as their space.
- Miscellaneous Items: Don’t forget, you will also want to provide bedding for the bed and access to towels for the bathroom.
Other Considerations Before You Hire a 24-7 Caregiver
It’s not always easy to come to terms with a loved one needing round-the-clock care. Once you’ve made that decision, there are other things to keep in mind that go far beyond just having space in your home devoted to your caregiver.
- Have you discussed having a live-in caregiver with your loved one yet? Your loved one needs to feel as safe and secure as possible and by making them a part of the process, they will feel heard and in control instead of simply having the whole in-home caregiver concept thrust upon them.
- Is your caregiver qualified? Before hiring a caregiver, you need to make sure they are a good fit. You should have a clear understanding of what their experience is and what skills they have. In addition, they should be carefully vetted with a criminal background check.
- Is your caregiver kind / a good fit personality-wise? One of the most important aspects of the caregiver is their personality. This person is going to be spending long periods of time with your loved one. You want to make sure that they are kind and patient and actually enjoy spending time with senior adults.
- Has your loved one met their caregiver yet? What do they think of them? Beyond that, you should consider the personality of your loved one and take the time to find someone that they would enjoy spending time with. You will want to get your loved one’s opinion about possible caregivers as well as their thoughts on having someone in their home overnight.
- Do you have a contingency plan in place in case your live-in caregiver has an emergency of their own? Finally, don’t forget that a caregiver is a person, too. Although it is their job to care for your loved ones, they do have their own problems and emergencies in their life. You will want to have an alternate plan in case your caregiver becomes sick or has a family emergency to deal with. Give some thought to who will step in to take over their duties should an emergency or illness arise. If you are working with a home health care agency they can arrange for a replacement, but if you’re not, then you will need to determine ahead of time if you have a family member that can step in.
Making the leap to overnight care can seem a little overwhelming, but with the right plan and the right help, it can give both you and your loved one peace of mind knowing someone is there to help if they need it.
What do you feel is most important about finding the right in-home, round-the-clock care for your loved one? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!