When to Hire a Home Health Aide

older woman and nurse
April 14th, 2014

A home health aide can help your senior with a variety of tasks, like shopping, running errands, assisting with bathroom breaks, and preparing meals. Aides also provide companionship and help your loved ones stay in their homes for as long as possible.

The benefits to you are just as great. Knowing your parent has someone to check in on him or her during the day can save you time running home at lunch, not to mention the peace of mind that you will have knowing that your loved one has someone nearby.

Aides who assist with everyday tasks can lift some of your caregiver duties off your shoulders so you can relax and enjoy your loved one’s company.

Where to Find Home Health Aides

Not all home health services are costly. Check with places like Meals on Wheels, Medicare.gov, and your local church or volunteer center to see if there are free or low-cost aides you can hire.

Other services to research include:

When Should You Hire a Home Care Aide?

Sometimes it may be your senior who begins the investigation into the benefits of hiring a home care aide. But often it is up to you as the caregiver to realize the signs that it may be time to start looking into home health aides.

When Your Loved One’s Care Is Beyond Your Expertise

Sometimes, your loved one’s health progresses beyond the care you’re able to give. A recent Forbes article notes that “more than half of adults 80 or older today have a severe disability, and about a third need help bathing, dressing, cooking, or performing other routine activities.” In these cases, a home health aide can help your loved one stay in her home as long as possible.

Many caregivers prefer having someone come in during the day, even if it’s just to do small tasks in your loved one’s home. Knowing that your senior will have company during the day if he or she should fall or become sick can remove a heavy burden from your mind.

When You’re Overwhelmed

As a caregiver, you need to balance your time and energy with the needs of your loved one. Feeling stressed out and overwhelmed could mean that you should consider getting some help. Watch for these signs that you’re in need of assistance:

  • You feel that the days and weeks fly by and you can’t get what you want done.
  • You’re isolated. You tend to your loved one’s needs but don’t make social time for yourself.
  • You’re crabby and short with people.
  • You alternately feel sad and angry throughout the day.

When you’re at your limit physically and emotionally, you can’t properly care for others. This is the time to see if a home health aide can help you with tasks that will return balance to your life.