Tick, Tock, the Caregiving Schedule Clock
Now that you know how to tell what kind of care your Senior needs, it’s time to look at what kind of caregiving schedule works best for them.
Caregivers are just like any other employee and usually like to work a set schedule. While there is no end to the list of potential caregiving arrangements, caregivers typically work one of the following three schedules:
- Daytime hourly: These caregivers work during daytime hours, typically in shifts of anywhere from 4-12 hours. During shorter shifts, caregivers provide companionship and help with higher-level household tasks. For longer shifts, caregivers provide more ongoing assistance throughout the day with tasks like using the toilet and managing meals. Daytime caregivers are more likely to drive and have their own car. Expect to pay an hourly rate for these services.
- Nighttime hourly: These caregivers typically work shifts of 8-12 hours overnight to support a Senior who frequently wakes and needs assistance throughout the night. If your Senior’s overnight needs are unpredictable, a good nighttime caregiver can help with establishing a routine. Expect to pay an hourly rate for these services.
- Live-in: These caregivers typically work 2-5 days at a time (so a Senior with full-time live-in assistance will have at least 2 different caregivers). And as the name suggests, these caregivers live in the Senior’s home, providing ongoing assistance and companionship and managing the household. While live-in caregivers may share a bathroom with a Senior, they need to have their own bedroom with furniture and linens provided by the family. Live-in caregivers are a good fit for Seniors who need consistent help throughout the day but sleep well at night (caregivers need sleep too!). Live-in caregivers are less likely to drive and have their own car. Expect to pay a daily rate for these services.
Many families choose to “mix and match” these services to make the ideal caregiving schedule. For example, a Senior with a live-in caregiver may add on a nighttime caregiver for a few weeks to help manage their overnight positioning and toileting needs following a hip replacement surgery. And know that services can be provided on any number of days of the week. A Senior may need full-time care for help with mobility and safety, or they may need just a few hours a couple times a week to assist with things around the house. To get an idea of what tasks your Senior might need help with, check out our first post on the topic.
Is that all there is to it?
You may be looking at this list and thinking “But I just want a caregiver for an hour or two a couple times a day to help Mom with getting out of bed and getting ready for the evening.” While not impossible to find a caregiver for this kind of work, know that it is much more challenging to accomplish – and likely to be more expensive (expect about 2x the average hourly rate in your area). When a Senior needs assistance for both morning and evening routines, it is likely that they also need assistance at other times throughout the day.
If having a caregiver for longer shifts won’t work, consider what changes can help your Senior be more independent with their morning and evening routines:
- Would they benefit from different adaptive equipment in the bedroom or bathroom?
- Can they perform some activities seated instead of standing?
- Would PT or OT help them learn safe strategies for managing these routines independently?
Helping Seniors and families assess their caregiving needs and come up with a reasonable caregiving schedule is just one of the many ways in which we provide support. Contact us today to learn how we can help you and your Senior manage the challenges of aging.
PS If you’re interested in learning more about caregiving, we are hosting a FREE webinar, Professional Caregiving: Getting the Right Care for your Senior, on Wednesday. February 16, from 7-8pm CST. Check out the flier below, and register here: shorturl.at/auGJL