Families with elderly loved ones living in the Badger State have options when it comes to hiring a caregiver. Elder care providers are instrumental in supporting seniors who intend to comfortably age in place. Here are some things Wisconsin families should know about the hiring process for an in-home caregiver.
What is a caregiver?
A professional caregiver is an individual who is employed or under contract to provide senior home care. This individual has direct and regular contact with the care recipient and access to the care recipient’s property. Additionally, the professional is under the employer’s control.
A caregiver may be trained in the healthcare field and hold job titles, such as a certified nursing assistant or certified home health aide. These professionals are skilled in handling various senior care issues, including mobility, nutrition, hygiene and behavior.
Alternately, some types of professional caregivers offer only non-medical companion care. Companion caregivers do not possess training in the healthcare field but do provide basic senior care. Typical services provided by companion caregivers include transportation, grocery shopping and meal preparation.
Where should families look for a caregiver?
Hiring a professional caregiver in Wisconsin may be accomplished via one of two ways: through a home care agency or through an independent hire. The former route is more expensive, given families will have to pay for the agency’s administration costs. Independently hiring a caregiver is cost-effective.
Despite the higher cost, senior care agencies offer several advantages in comparison to independently contracting a caregiver. Locating a home care agency is easy. Reputable home care agencies in Wisconsin are plentiful and retain a staff of skilled, experienced caregivers.
The home care agency manages all aspects of payroll, so families are not burdened with the task. Backup caregivers are immediately dispatched when the original caregiver is unable to work. Such a benefit ensures continuity of care, which is critical in the case of seniors with unstable health.
Additional practical advantages of hiring through an elder care agency are many. Caregivers from home care agencies are bonded, licensed and insured—important factors that help families feel secure about the caregiver. The agency also performs background checks on each caregiver prior to hire.
Families may decide to browse home care registries to find a professional caregiver. This method is challenging, since family members are tasked with interviewing the professionals, handling payroll and scrambling for backups when the caregiver is unable to work due to unexpected emergencies.
Although families can be more selective about the caregiver they choose to independently hire, they are left with conducting their own background checks on the individual. Plus, independently hired caregivers usually do not possess professional liability insurance and are not bonded.
What is the Wisconsin Caregiver Law?
The Wisconsin Caregiver Law was designed to protect vulnerable individuals, like seniors, who reside in regulated healthcare settings, such as nursing homes, assisting living facilities and long-term care institutions. Contractors or employees undergo background checks upon hire and every four years.
Although the Law was implemented in 1998 by the Department of Health Services, in-home caregivers are not subject to the strict terms of this state law. This is due to the fact that in-home caregivers perform services outside of the aforementioned regulated healthcare settings.
Wisconsin in-home caregivers can also practice without certification. Despite the lack of strict regulations in Wisconsin to become a home care professional, some area agencies perform background checks as a practical step to ensure their staff abide by the highest ethical and professional standards.
Home care agencies in Wisconsin that are known for excellence also fully screen and test their caregivers prior to hire. Drug and TB testing are performed to ensure care recipients are in safe hands. Additionally, quality home care agencies work to retain only trained professionals.
One such home care agency that performs all of the above, including background checks, drug and TB testing and mandating caregiver training, is Assisting Hands Home Care in Franklin, Wisconsin. We offer a range of comprehensive non-medical care to the senior population living in the surrounding areas.
Adding to our agency’s reputation for reliability is the fact that Assisting Hands Home Care professionals are licensed, bonded and insured. This ensures that our care recipients and their families have maximum peace of mind when using our services for dependable senior care.
Assisting Hands Home Care service providers become essential when elderly loved ones are no longer able to manage everyday life without extra support. Our services are geared toward providing the right amount of daily assistance so that the senior functions as independently as possible.
Specialized care is also provided by our memory care providers at Assisting Hands Home Care. We retain a team of trained dementia caregivers who recognize the symptoms of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, gently calm the care recipient and return the senior to a comfortable state.
Our home care services are flexible. Families rely on our respite care, which provides relief for a few hours or for several days. If your loved one needs 24-hour home care, overnight home care or live-in care, Assisting Hands Home Care will tailor a care plan to specifically meet those needs.
Routine caregiving tasks provided by Assisting Hands Home Care service professionals include help with personal hygiene, like bathing, grooming and dressing, as well as meal preparation, grocery shopping, transportation to doctor’s appointments or the senior center and timely medication reminders.
Caregivers at Assisting Hands Home Care understand that seniors need support outside of the basic tasks of daily living. We prevent isolation, boredom and loneliness by personally engaging with our care recipients, playing games to stimulate their minds and building meaningful relationships with each senior.
Assisting Hands Home Care makes hiring a caregiver in Wisconsin a straightforward process. Countless families with seniors residing in Milwaukee, Franklin, Waukesha WI and the surrounding areas continue to count on us for compassionate and dedicated elder care services. When home care is right for your loved one, contact us at (262) 565-6898 for a free in-home consultation.