Faced with an aging population, there are many people opting to avoid being placed into care homes, wanting to retain their independence for as long as possible by remaining in their own homes. This has naturally created more jobs, with many people working as carers for the elderly. However, finding the right one for your loved one can be difficult because it involves a lot more than them being competent. You want to know that they will tend to your elderly relative as well as you would, with the same care and compassion. If you’re considering a home care worker for a relative, here are some tips to help you find the right one.

What Type Of Care Is Required?

Caring for the elderly can be quite specific and can be narrowed down into certain categories which are

Respite Care

This type of care is not everyday care. It allows the primary carer to have a break from providing care to their loved one for a certain amount of days. This could be to allow the primary carer to catch up with their chores, work, or even just rest, so they can better cope with looking after their relative.

Overnight Care

Just as the name suggests, this requires the home care worker to stay with your elderly relative overnight. This is a particularly useful form of care if your relative requires help throughout the night or tends to be restless and thus prone to wandering about. Overnight home care workers can either be awake throughout the night or sleeping in another room, waking as and when required. This type of care can also be for an agreed number of nights, depending upon the needs of your relative. 

Disability Care

This is specific care based on the lack of physical or mental abilities your elderly relative has. Their needs may require the help of a  home care worker with specific qualifications and thus a deeper understanding of your relative’s needs. 

Post Discharge Care

This is a type of care provided to someone that has been released from the hospital and needs care until they are able to do things for themselves. This is usually organized before they are released from the hospital to ensure they do not pose a danger to themselves which could set back their recovery. A post-discharge home care worker will visit your elderly relative for a certain number of weeks, supporting them to get back to being self-sufficient.

Companion Care

To help prevent your elderly relative from feeling lonely or isolated, this type of care is to provide a structured form of friendship. It provides your relative with the opportunity to avoid feeling lonely and have someone to regularly talk to during the times you are unable to visit. It is also a good way to ensure that your elderly relative is mentally and physically well enough to stay on their own without posing a risk to themselves the older they become. 

How Long Is The Care Required?

You usually can have a home care worker that lives with your relative or visits for a few hours per day. The team at Expert Home Care explained that the latter can often be more cost-effective than paying for them to live in a home. It also enables them to stay in a familiar environment. If you opt for this, then rates tend to be charged daily as opposed to hourly, with the home care worker living with your relative on a full-time basis.

However, your relative may only require help with certain chores, such as washing and dressing or cooking meals. This means a home care worker will only need to visit for a certain period of time or at certain times of the day. Alternatively, you may require them to stay whilst you’re working, meaning they will be there for the majority of the day. It’s important you listen to the advice of the home care worker in respect of the time they’re needed for. For instance, you may think a couple of hours is sufficient for your relative to have assistance getting washed or dressed when in actual fact it may take an extra hour as their disability adds more onto the time than you realize. Be prepared to accept what the professional advises as they’re the ones with the experience.

What Experience Should The Home Care Worker Have?

This is dependent upon the needs of your elderly relative, which is as important as how they get on with the person who is looking after them. It is imperative that your relative feels relaxed enough to allow this person to care for them, especially as they are vulnerable. After all, they are relying on someone to do something for them on a regular basis, which could be of a personal nature. 

To ensure the home care worker has the necessary skills and experience to look after your loved one, speaking to previous people they have cared for, obtain references, do a DBS check, verify their qualifications and check their eligibility to work. But perhaps, most important of all, take time to get to know them yourself and trust your instincts. You not only want your relative to be comfortable with this person in their home, but you also want peace of mind whilst they are there in place of you.


Deciding to hire a home care worker often comes at a point when we realize we are unable to provide the care our loved one needs. It can be a stressful time determining what type of care is required and for how long. Finding the right home care can be daunting, but with the number of carers available, rest assured it is only a matter of time before you find one. The right home care worker will become not only a friend but like an extended member of your family as you begin to trust them in looking after your loved one.

Check out My Home Care if you are interested in at-home aged care services.

Published by HOLR Magazine.

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