Are you getting to the point where you need to hire someone to care for an aging relative or loved one? If so, then it’s important to know the best practices for finding the right person for the job – from assessing the needs of your loved ones to making sure a caregiver background screening is part of the process.
Why do you need a caregiver? In short, the global population is aging and doing so rapidly. According to the World Health Organization, one in every six people on the planet will be 60 years old or older by 2030. In 2020, there were one billion 60-or-over people in the world; by 2030, the number will be 1.4 billion. The phenomenon is particularly robust in the United States, where the aging of the Baby Boomer generational cohort – combined with slower reproduction patterns among younger generations – is reshaping the population’s demographics. According to the Population Reference Bureau (PRB), 16 percent of Americans (52 million people) were 65 or older in 2018. Those figures are anticipated to increase to 23 percent of the population (approximately 95 million people) by 2060.
Indeed, there are very good things about these trends. As it reaches retirement age en masse, the Baby Boomer population is essentially healthier than any prior American cohort. Rising life expectancies and quality of life have created a situation where older adults stay in the workforce for longer and contribute their significant levels of experience and institutional knowledge – as well as their capital and wealth – to the betterment of businesses, nonprofits, and governments, and society in general. Our seniors living longer also means that families tend to have more good years with parents and grandparents.
However, these shifts are also creating significant new challenges, not the least of which is the increasing demand for healthcare services to support the elderly. Per the PRB, the aging of the Baby Boomer generation “could fuel more than a 50 percent increase in the number of Americans ages 65 and older requiring nursing home care, to about 1.9 million in 2030 from 1.2 million in 2017.”
Your family, like many others, could soon be faced with the question of how to care for an aging parent, grandparent, or elderly loved one. While nursing homes are an option, many seniors prefer to age in place – at least to start. This concept essentially means that older adults continue to live in their homes amid familiar surroundings that can help them retain memory and overall health but receive assistance along the way in the form of in-home care.
Finding the right in-home caregiver for your elderly loved ones can be a challenge but can make a huge difference in how they experience their later years. Here are a few quick tips to help you through the process.
- Understand what your loved one needs: In-home care can vary considerably depending on the situation. Some older adults only need a few hours of assistance a week with things like errands and food prep. Others might need more round-the-clock care. It’s important to understand the person’s needs and how much care they will require.
- Understand your budget: Round-the-clock care, of course, can be quite expensive. As a result, sometimes budgetary factors determine whether home care is reasonable for your situation or whether it would make more financial and logistical sense to consider a nursing home or assisted living community.
- Consider the options: When searching for an in-home caregiver, you can go the agency route or hire an independent caregiver. The former option typically costs a little more, but it might lend more peace of mind since agencies thoroughly vet and train their employees. On the other hand, if someone you trust has referred you to an independent caregiver, that path might make sense.
- Ask around: Speaking of referrals, it’s always a good idea to ask friends or family members who have gone through this process before for advice. Someone you know may offer a lot of pointers or even recommend a caregiver or agency in your area that they like.
- Don’t forget the professional background checks: Whether you choose to hire a caregiver through an agency or go through a private hiring process with an independent caregiver, don’t forget the caregiver background screening step. Background checks for home care are crucial to prevent abuse, neglect, identity theft, or other issues that can arise in home care situations when the caregiver isn’t 100 percent trustworthy. Professional background checks in this field should include criminal history checks, licensing verifications, employment and education checks, and more.
At backgroundchecks.com, we can help you navigate background checks for home care. Contact us today to learn more.
About Michael Klazema The author
Michael Klazema is the lead author and editor for Dallas-based backgroundchecks.com with a focus on human resource and employment screening developments