It’s not easy to admit that your parents, who have always been your rocks and protectors since birth and even into adulthood, are getting on in years and need help in doing everyday things like bathing, eating, or remembering to take medication.

If you find that you need some assistance to ensure that your parents are comfortable and safe every day, you can enlist the help of a caregiver. Here are some tips on how to hire a carer:

First things first, figure out what your parents need help with specifically

Determine the kind of care your parent might need. Does your parent just need companionship and help with chores during the day when you’re at work? Or do they need help with bathing, getting dressed, or eating? Or does your mum or dad need additional assistance with some medical issues such as taking medication, cleaning a post-surgery wound, or maybe they have a mechanical ventilator that needs monitoring?

Figure out how often they’ll need the carer with them. Some carers can only work part-time, while others can work full-time in shifts, and others can even live with your parent.

The Australian government also provides an aged care assessment which will help you determine if your parent needs support, what kind they need, and if they’re eligible for government-funded aged care assistance. Here are the steps you need to follow if you want to avail of government assistance:

  1. Visit the My Aged Care page here. There, you’ll find information on eligibility, the types of services offered, the related costs, and how to register for assessment.
  2. You’ll need to register your parent by calling 1800 200 422. Have their Medicare card with you, and make sure that your parent can give their consent.
  3. Based on your call, My Aged Care may refer your parent for a formal assessment so they can truly evaluate what is needed.
  4. After the assessment, visit the My Aged Care site and use the Services Finder page based on the results your assessor gave you to see what your available options are.
  5. You may also manage your care services on the Manage Your Services page.

Next, find the right type of carer for your parent

Knowing the specific areas where you parent needs support can inform your decision-making process. Keep in mind that carers have different specialisations and there are limitations on the duties that they can perform. Here is a brief description of the types of carers you may hire:

Companions – If your parent doesn’t need much hands-on help, they’ll only require a companion who can be around for conversation, chores, and to drive them around or accompany them on errands.

Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA) – The CAN’s tasks are expanded from the
companion as they can also help with hygiene, grooming, and feeding your parent.

Nurses – Private duty nurses can also do the same tasks that companions and CNAs do but they’re the only ones who can perform health- and medical-related duties. Nurses can dress wounds, replace catheters, perform tube feedings and tracheotomy care, and dispense medications, among others.

How to hire a carer
You can try listing services, classified ads, or your own networks. But you can also go through an agency that can match you up with reliable companions, nursing assistants, or nurses from within their network.

Or, better yet, you can download the Kalinga App to get in touch with skilled and experienced carers who really care. Any of the abovementioned avenues are great for finding caregivers but the Kalinga App streamlines the process so it’s simpler and easier to engage someone who can give your parents the proper care they deserve.

With the app, you get access to our database of carers, with the required certifications, who can work according to your requirements and budget.

Getting used to the idea that your parents require assistance for day-to-day living may take a while for some, but it should be some comfort to know that there are people whose vocation it is to support you and your family through this stage in life – and that they’re just a few clicks (or a phone call) away.

We also understand that you might not ready to work with a caregiver for your parents yet and would like to do it yourself, so we’d like to share that the national government also offers aid and services to family caregivers. Read more about it at the Department of Social Services’ page.

We know how much Mum and Dad mean to you that’s why Kalinga will help you find an ideal carer for them. Download our app on iTunes or at the Google Play Store.

We’ll connect you with caregivers who are committed to making sure their elderly clients are safe, comfortable, and healthy!