If you have decided to care for your terminally ill parent at home, then it is essential you hire high-quality caregivers whom you can trust to be alone in your home during those times that you cannot be present. While you may be tempted to try and hire a caregiver yourself, using professional caregivers who work for a home healthcare agency is always a better choice.
The Advantages of Utilizing a Home Health Care Agency
There are numerous advantages associated with utilizing caregivers who work for an agency, versus those who work as independent contractors, such as:
the caregivers have been screened, fingerprinted, and drug tested
the care agency handles all of the hiring/firing, payroll, and employment taxes
the care agency employs caregivers with progressive levels of care skills
private insurance and Medicaid may cover some/all of the costs for agency caregivers
When you hire an independent caregiver, you will need to contend with all of these things yourself, as well as dealing with the constant drama of schedule conflicts and the need for time off to attend family functions and for illness. In contrast, when you use caregivers who work for a home healthcare agency, the agency always has other staff who can step in and cover for illness and scheduling conflicts.
Progressive Care Needs and Home Health Care Agencies
As your parent's illness progresses, they will naturally need more hands-on care and you will need additional household support.
Since an illness can sometimes be a long and stressful road, getting appropriate levels of assistance with care giving and household needs well before you may feel the stress will allow you to preserve your energy and spend higher-quality time with your parent while they are still with you.
Home health care agencies are prepared to offer caregivers who have a wide variety of skill sets. For example, at first, you may only need someone to help your parent take a shower or prepare food. Late in the disease process, your parent may need full-time care that includes toileting and lots of lifting into and out of bed. When you hire a caregiver yourself, you may find you need to hire multiple people because the care needs are so varied.
Caring for someone with a terminal illness is a marathon, not a sprint. Every day there are many needs to be met for yourself, your parent, your own children, and your household.