Aging with Care: Your Guide to Hiring and Managing Caregivers at Home

Aging with Care: Your Guide to Hiring and Managing Caregivers at Home

by Amanda Lambert, Leslie Eckford


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Finding the right fit to match aging adults with the best caregiver to assist them in their home can be fraught with challenge. In today's pressurized world, the process involves overstressed family members and a shortage of great caregivers. So many adult children are seeking a helping hand and a friendly, experienced voice to guide them through this emotionally charged rite of passage. Aging with Care: Your Guide to Hiring and Managing Caregivers in the Home, takes a personal, professional, and sometimes humorous approach to the challenges, benefits, pitfalls and problems of hiring in-home caregivers. Here, two geriatric care experts explore the essential credentials and experience a home caregiver should have, pitfalls to avoid, hiring options and managing costs, and the decisions that go into finding the right fit for your loved one to be able to age in place. Sharing stories and insights from interviews with caregivers and elders, as well as industry experts, they walk you through the ins and outs, and provide you with the tools necessary to making the best care choices you can for the ones you love.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781538125991
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date: 02/08/2019
Pages: 268
Sales rank: 1,017,111
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Amanda Lambert is an Aging Life Care Professional, and Certified Care Manager who has worked for over 25 years in elder related services. She has worked in mental health, home health, and most recently care management and consultation. She is co-author with Leslie Eckford of Beating the Senior Blues: How to Feel Better and Enjoy Life Again. She is certified as an Advanced Aging Life Care Specialist through the Aging Life Care Association (formerly the National Academy of Geriatric Care Managers); a nationally certified Master Guardian; and a Care Manager Certified issued by the National Academy of Certified Care Managers. Amanda and Leslie have a website,, where they post observations and articles on caregiving and policy, aging research, assisted living, technology, healthy aging, and the global challenges associated with taking care of elders. Amanda has presented to numerous professional groups through the years on a wide variety of topics. Amanda has been the chairperson of the Utah Gerontological Society; on the board of trustees of the oldest non-profit assisted living community in Utah, The Sarah Daft Home, and served on numerous other committees that advocate for elders. Amanda received an Outstanding Achievement Award from the State of Utah Division of Aging and Adult Services for her work in protecting the rights and safety of vulnerable adults.

Leslie Eckford is a licensed clinical social worker and registered nurse who has focused most of her practice on Geriatric Mental Health in inpatient geriatric hospital units and in community mental health centers. She is the co-author with Amanda Lambert of Beating the Senior Blues: How to Feel Better and Enjoy Life Again. Leslie has worked with geriatric mental health care teams including at the University of Arizona and the University of Virginia Medical Centers managing the treatment of psychiatric illnesses.  Leslie has been a speaker in the community about topics affecting the lives of older adults including: Suicide in the Elderly, Resiliency and Aging, Issues of Intimacy in Older Years, and Hoarding.

Table of Contents

What would you do if you realized that the caregiver that you hired to take care of your elderly parents in their house turned out to be stealing from them and exploiting them? Leslie shares her horror story of realizing that the hired caregiver that she knew, liked and trusted turned out to be robbing her family blind. She describes her professional background as a geriatric nurse and Licensed Clinical Social Worker and her dedication to supporting her parents to age in their own home. She assumed that even though she lives far away from her elderly parents, she would know enough to make the right choices. But all of this was not enough to protect her family from being taken advantage of. When she discussed her family's plight with her friend, Amanda Lambert, also a geriatric professional as well as a certified geriatric care manager, they realized that though they agreed on many approaches to home care for the elderly, they diverged when considering hiring privately or through a care agency. Thus, the idea for this book was born: to share our professional and personal experience to assist others to make educated choices about hiring employees to be elder caregivers for their family.

Chapter 1
While Amanda and Leslie agree about the value of aging at home and promoting safety and quality of life for all elders, they have some different approaches on how to hire the right caregivers for home care. Even after the criminal caregiver fiasco, Leslie still prefers hiring privately. Amanda has a different perspective related to her experiences as a geriatric care manager. Amanda describes her duties in this professional role, its definition and how she helps elders and their families navigate the challenges of staying in place to age.
The tremendous growth of people who are over 65 and the increase in life expectancy is creating an Aging Tsunami. As more Americans grow older, more can expect to eventually need some assistance with daily care such as preparing meals, dressing and bathing and mobility. Where will they get that care? In recent history, older adults have been encouraged to move into assisted living or other retirement communities. However, in poll after poll of older Americans, they clearly express their desire to stay at home. Staying at home is one thing, but being on the receiving end of personal care is another. Invasion of privacy, and loss of control are considered in the context of real life experiences of elders.
Two different ways to hire a caregiver (private hire or through a care agency) are presented with the Pros and Cons of each. Families are encouraged to consider the needs of elders and their choice of hiring the best caregiver on a continuum. Needs for assistance can change as one's health does, thus impacting the type of caregiver that will be best. Leslie describes the advantages of privately hiring a caregiver (more control over who is chosen, less turnover and more consistency of care, reducing cost of third party) and disadvantages (such as the need to vet individuals for criminal backgrounds, time required for hiring process and management). Amanda offers a contrasting perspective for hiring with a care agency: the upside includes less hassle for the family, the agency will take care of any sick calls and other unavoidable problems, and it saves time. She acknowledges the downsides such as an increased hourly rate for the consumer and higher rate of staff turnover which can be upsetting and disruptive for seniors.
Each chapter ends with Take Away Points that emphasize the most important concepts for the family to consider as they embark on increasing home support.
(See Sample Chapter)

Chapter 2
Knowing if or when to begin considering care in the home can be complicated. Typically an event, o...

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