Hiring a Caregiver Service During the Pandemic and Worker Shortage
The COVID pandemic has created new challenges and hardships for people everywhere around the world. In one shape or form, the pandemic has affected our lives and we continue to adjust to the “new normal”.
One of the biggest adjustments these days has been to plan with the possibility of those plans changing. And this has become particularly difficult for families with older loved ones that need help throughout the year. Planning becomes very important when you are responsible for an aging parent’s or other loved one’s care because you are dedicating time and effort to provide support to that person. If you plan to be at your loved one’s home on a particular day and something COVID-related changes those plans, it may mean causing your loved one to go without that much needed help, for example, groceries or medications.
Hiring a caregiver agency has always and continues to be a very vital resource for older adults. It allows for a dependable source of support in addition to what a person’s friends and family members are providing. And while the pandemic has changed many things, especially the way we manage our daily living activities, it has not changed the need for older adults to have ongoing assistance at home.
The worker shortage has been an unexpected consequence of the COVID pandemic, and it is affecting all types of industries, especially the airline and healthcare industry. Home care has also been affected by the worker shortage and agencies are facing greater challenges then ever before to find and hire home care workers. While challenging, there are still many home care workers being trained and employed to help people at home every day.
If you are considering hiring a home care service and are concerned about the worker shortage, there are a few things you can do.
- Plan early – give yourself plenty of time, (about two weeks is ideal) to engage an agency and start a caregiver.
- Get vaccinated – be sure you and your loved one are fully vaccinated before starting with a home care worker. This will give you and the caregiver peace of mind.
- Create a schedule for the caregiver and stick to it – before you call the home care agency, decide on a schedule that you would like the caregiver to work. Plan to be flexible with the days and hours
- Write down the care plan – make a list of your loved one’s daily routine and the tasks that you want the caregiver to do
- Keep disinfecting products and PPE accessible – it is the responsibility of the household to provide disinfecting products and personal protective equipment to the caregiver
- Mask or no mask? This is your personal decision. Decide if you would like the caregiver to always wear a mask or not.
- Maintain six feet apart whenever possible – while difficult to do in a home environment, try to maintain social distancing whenever possible.
- Keep home COVID tests handy – this will allow you to test in a pinch if you are concerned about an exposure.
- If the caregiver tests positive – have your loved one tested at least 3 to 5 days following the last time that he or she was in the caregiver’s company
- Report symptoms to the home care agency – if your loved one is experiencing any cold-like symptoms, report it right away to the home care agency