My dad is somewhat resistant to hiring a caregiver. How can I choose good in-home care for him?

It is difficult to explain to an individual he can no longer live independently and needs assistance from an outside caregiver. Moreover, having a new person — a stranger — in his home makes him feel uneasy and uncomfortable.

Assess your dad’s needs. Review the level of care he needs and the number of hours he may need a caregiver. Then, assess your expectations of that caregiver. Is the caregiver willing to not only take care of your dad, but also do light housework and cooking?

Next, consider how your dad will tolerate the caregiver and realize this caregiver could be good company for him, allowing him to remain socially engaged.

If possible, have the caregiver visit for an hour or so prior to taking on the job. Focus on the relationship between your dad and this caregiver, making sure they seem compatible and happy with each other.

It is important to choose a compassionate and reliable caregiver. Do you want to select an agency or go with an independent caregiver? Most people look at the costs first when selecting in-home care, in which case, an independent caregiver is less expensive regarding an hourly rate as opposed to one provided by an agency. Review your dad’s finances and budget what he can afford.

Interviewing prospective candidates, calling references and running background checks are needed exercises in landing a trustworthy and dependable caregiver.

Moreover, what happens if the caregiver you hire cannot serve your dad on a scheduled day?

With an agency, this can be easily rectified as the agency finds a substitute, while with an independent caregiver, you are pretty much left deserted, and a member of the family might have to assume the role of caregiver that particular day.

Consider insurance liability, also, as what would happen if the hired caregiver was injured while in your dad’s home taking care of him.

Agencies are protected and are licensed and bonded to insure your protection.

Ease your dad into the process of an in-home caregiver. Slowly expand the hours and days until he is comfortable with the person you have selected. In the long run, it will benefit him physically and socially, while giving you a needed respite.

For resources and contact information for in-home care, contact Alzheimer’s Services at (225) 334-7494.

You can also find a provider and more information on the National Home Care Association website at hcaoa.org.

Questions about Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia disorder? Contact Dana Territo, the Memory Whisperer, Director of Services at Alzheimer’s Services of the Capital Area, (225) 334-7494, advice@alzbr.org, or visit the organization at 3772 North Blvd., Baton Rouge.