So, you’ve decided to hire a live-in to help your elderly family member maintain their independence. What now? Live-ins, or companions as we like to call them, are individual people that bring with them their own unique techniques and personalities to help seniors maintain their independence.
Just like selecting a primary care doctor, selecting the right live-in companion for your family member can take time. Between qualifications, working hours, and what a live-in is or is not willing to do for your family member is all information that should be clearly communicated from the first meeting. Which live-in companion is right for you?
We’ve compiled a list of topics to be addressed when deciding to hire a live-in companion:
How many hours does my family member need?
The goal of a companion is to help senior citizens with their daily routines while also maintaining their independence. With this in mind, how much help do you think your senior needs to maintain his or her lifestyle? Some people might require one or two days a week to run errands, while others require constant companionship around the clock.
Ask yourself: Does your senior only need help with occasional strenuous tasks, or does he/she need help accomplishing daily routines? (If you aren’t sure, read our blog on Mobility).
Does my senior require any kind of medical attention?
Not all live-in companions are nurses. Talk to your doctor and ask what medical services your senior will require of the new companion, and whether or not any specific level of certification is required. Ask yourself how healthy your senior is— companions have the ability to check vitals and remind seniors to take their medication, while other seniors may require a registered nurse for more difficult tasks such as breathing on ventilators, administering IVs, and tube feedings.
Ask yourself: Does your senior have any medical conditions or medical duties that the companion will be responsible to perform, or is he/she capable of fulfilling his/her medical needs on his/her own?
What daily activities would my family member benefit from?
What types of activities keeps your family member healthy? Does your family member need to start exercising more often? If your family member is recovering from surgery, he or she may need physical therapy. Other seniors choose to walk in order to remain active and healthy. Still other seniors find more unique ways to exercise. Make sure your companion is comfortable participating in all of your senior’s preferred daily exercising habits.
Ask yourself: What does your family member do to stay active? Is the companion willing to continue these daily exercises?
What is important to your elderly family member?
Whether it’s religion, morals, family, or even pets, your senior citizen is a unique individual with a vibrant personality. Find out what is most important to your senior, and whether or not the potential live-in is like-minded. While most of the world calls the occupation a live-in, we call them companions, because the term “companion” reflects the care and love we put into our seniors. Building trust, establishing friendships, and practicing mutual respect are all necessary in order to find the perfect companion for your senior.
Ask yourself: What does my family member like/dislike? Is my elderly family member comfortable around the potential companion?
Finding the perfect live-in companion can be difficult. Just as every case is unique, so are the standards set by the senior and their family for a live-in companion. How can one decide which is the perfect live-in companion? Begin by narrowing down the search, setting requirements, and understanding what your senior needs.