Things to Consider with Long Term Live-in Home Care [Part 2 of 2]
Hiring a live-in caregiver through a home care agency not only ensures qualified care is being provided and monitored, it also offers the advantages of being matched for compatibility, establishing a trail period, and providing back-up care. “The importance of compatibility cannot be stressed enough. You, your caregiver, and your family are going to be spending lots of time together. So you better make sure that you really like each other. That’s why the trial period is so important.”, advises Dr. McGee. The trial period should last a minimum of 1 month, but preferably several months to ensure that everyone is compatible. “You would be surprised at the number of families that immediately move-in caregivers that they find on the internet. I have proprietary software, knowledge of my staff, and years of practical experience matching families and caregivers, and I would never recommend a long term live-in caregiver without a trial period.”, says Margie Skibinski DON RN BSN, Comforting Home Care’s Director of Nursing. She adds, “The right fit is important, and the only way to determine that is to try it. If someone offers to send you a long term live-in caregiver without a trial period – run!”
Lastly, you need to understand that your care situation will not remain static – things will change over time. A change may happen in as little as a month or it could be years, but you can be certain that change will come. Your caregiver may find a boyfriend, develop a sick parent, become ill, suffer a family loss, or, in some cases, want to return to their home state or country. Remember, your long term live-in caregiver is not maintaining a separate home in the area and may have few restrictions on leaving for another opportunity or simply for personal reasons. People are not indentured servants and there is no practical way to force them to stay. That’s why it is important to maintain your relationship with your home care agency throughout this process. Your home care company will be ready to assist you with any problems and to fill any gaps in your care.
Long term live-in care can work in some situations, but it takes great deal of planning, professional help, and significant and continued effort to implement. It is not the “magic answer” that unscrupulous placement agencies claim. The probability of being successful long term, even with professional help, is relatively low. (In fact, aside from some internet only placement agencies, few local home care agencies offer long term live-ins.) The truth is that managing long term live-in care has many difficulties and will require the greatest amount of your time and effort.