caregiverHome health care is a difficult but inevitable conversation many seniors and loved ones must have. Alzheimer’s disease — a disease occurring at the onset of old age — is one of the leading causes of death in the United States. Alzheimer’s entails a loss of motor and cognitive functions, often leading to dementia and an incapability of functioning on one’s own. In result, many senior are in need of a caregiver and some form of in home care in order to assist with medical needs and general daily tasks, including hygiene and nourishment.

As of 2010, roughly 12 million individuals were receiving home healthcare from more than 33,000 providers. But how does one go about finding the best possible care? Finding the right caretaker for your loved one is essential for you and your family’s peace of mind and a loved one’s well-being.

In order to make the best decision possible, try following these three tips:

Know What You Need
Does your loved one need personal care or medical assistance? Licensed home health aid provides personal care, but not medical care. This includes basic in-home needs such as bathing, cooking, errands, and dressing. If you are in need of home healthcare, seek out a licensed professional who has, at least, five years of experience and meets all of your state’s licensing laws. That being said, it’s important to vet the agency and make sure that the staff has received adequate training and has a clean and positive record.

Consider Your Funds
Home health care is expensive, but not entirely unaffordable. If you are a beneficiary and your loved one has Medicare, this will help provide funds for you to get home health care if eligibility permits. However, Medicare won’t provide funds for any personal care. That being said, it’s likely you’ll have to use assets or cash or to fund health care.

It’s Worth the Wait
Finding the right senior care won’t happen overnight. It’s important to find a caregiver or an agency that is willing to coordinate care on your behalf. This means they’re willing to work with you as you organize and manage services. Even if you have found the right caregiver, finding a backup agency is always a good idea.