So the time has come to bring in some additional help and mom has agreed! Now the only question becomes what kind of schedule should we set up? There are many things to consider when setting a homecare schedule and here are a few challenges to prepare for.
The first thing to consider is when does mom need help the most? One of the most common times of day for extra assistance is first thing in the morning. If she had someone who could help her get out of bed and get her day started that would be great. So maybe initially you would want the caregiver to be there starting at 8am.
The next question then is what all do you want to extra help with? Getting dressed, bathing, toileting assistance, general housekeeping, meal preparation, etc. Once you have this question answered then it becomes a question of when to send the caregiver home.
If you feel a 3 hour window would be sufficient then you would probably want to go with an 8am – 11am shift to start things off. During this time the caregiver can help mom out of bed, take a bath, get her dressed, get her situated in her favorite chair, and then before heading out the caregiver can prepare a lunch that can be easily heated in the microwave when mom gets hungry.
The things above are all within reason of asking someone to assist with in a 3 hour window. You could even have the caregiver throw a load of laundry in if you wanted to. Do not be afraid to be specific in what you are wanting the caregiver to assist with. That is why you are getting mom the help in the first place. The more you can take off her plate, the better.
Setting a schedule is not something that has to be set in stone! If you need to tweak it, by all means, tweak it. If it is a drastic change to your initial plan, then you may have a different caregiver necessary to accommodate the change.
One thing to prepare for when setting an early arrival schedule is how will the caregiver get into the house? Mom is still in bed and you need to make sure the staff can get in without problem. The easiest solution to this challenge is to purchase a lockbox and hang it on her front door. These are opened with a combination and this assures the key always stays at mom’s house. There are many types of these but you will find a basic one in most cases meets the need.
Another possible consideration is to have the caregiver enter through the garage via the remote key pad. This is a good option assuming that mom has a garage as well as a electric garage door opener. These operate on a combination and that way the caregiver has an easy way to enter. Again; no key is leaving the property with this option.
Ideally the best case scenario is always that the caregiver has a way of entry that doesn’t allow for them to mistakenly put the house key in their pocket or purse. This proves to be a challenge for the next caregiver if the key is nowhere to be found!