nurse visiting a senior client in her homeConsistent attention to health needs is a main concern with aging relatives. Extra care is needed when 24 hour care is not applicable at the hands of the family. This is where in-home care becomes an option. Professional care is usually the only way to ensure consistent health and attention. Researching and learning about in-home care will make the process of finding a caregiver and being involved in the process an easier feat. As with most decisions related to aging parents, there are positive and negative aspects that need to be considered in light of in-home care. Here are five things that relatives of aging parents should know:

Personality Matching and Compatibility

Supervising the first few cases of caregiving is essential to figuring out whether a caregiver is compatible with your parent. It also prevents any possible emotional or physical abuse, which is unfortunately common when it comes to home care. There will likely be tense times and disagreement, but it is best to make sure the caregiver is equipped to handle problems rather than find out that your elderly loved one has been isolated or abused later down the road. Testing the caregiver’s capacity to deal with the patient professionally and in a nurturing manner should always be a part of the process. It helps the patient in the long run, and prevents unfortunate events like abuse from happening.

Background Checks

This goes hand in hand with the previous section of personality matching. Background checks are not always thoroughly administered by agencies that provide in-home caregivers. It is crucial to make sure that the caregiver assigned to a patient has a clean background. Every caregiver should be clear of a history of theft and other crimes that can affect the patient at hand.

Home Health Care vs. Home Care

Knowing the difference between home health care and home care is essential to providing care for an aging parent. The differences between the two services will influence how the patient is cared for. In-home care is a more intimate holistic setting of providing care. Home health care is a more impersonal, professional type of care that doesn’t involve the activities that meet social needs like in-home care would fulfill. For example, in-home care providers would be a part of daily activities that the patient loves if the patient wishes it to be so. This is less applicable with home health care.

Health Insurance Matters

Health insurance coverage is important when it comes to in-home care. It determines whether the patient will receive in-home care over a steady time period. It also determines whether the patient would be liable to pay any bills if an injury happens to the caregiver on the job. Liability and injury insurance is important to have in case an accident happens while the caregiver is with the patient. Theft insurance is another thing to pay attention to in order to prevent permanent loss of any stolen items. Sometimes unfortunate things happen and in-home care workers can be driven to theft. In this case, insurance guarantees that items and property stolen can be recovered or replaced.

The Patient Matters

When it comes to finding in-home care attendant services for an aging parent or relative, the opinion of the elder matters the most. The way the person feels can be expressed by having a discussion if possible. Many patients would want to be involved with who gets hired to look after them. If they are involved in the process, it puts them more at ease. It makes the transition from being independent to being professionally cared for a much easier change to endure.


It is rarely easy to provide proper care for an aging parent, but by doing the proper research and taking the correct steps, you can ensure that they have the kind of care that still allows them to live a happy life. Take the time to meet with caregivers and institutions, do background checks, go over health insurance matters, and speak with your parent about the situation. With a little extra planning, the process will be less painful, and hopefully helpful.

AUTHOR BIO: This article was written by Dixie Somers, a freelance writer who loves to write for health, technology, and family issues. She lives in Arizona with her husband and three beautiful daughters. Dixie got advice for this article from the professionals of Connecting Hearts Home Care who specialize in home care assistance in Cincinnati.

Image credit: DepositPhotos/monkeybusiness




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