Expert Advice from a Commonwise Client
A new guide to managing in-home care efforts has been authored by Commonwise client Leslie Eckford, LCSW.
A new and very insightful book about the challenges of managing in-home care has recently been published by Amanda Lambert and Leslie Eckford, LCSW. In addition to being an esteemed author, Ms. Eckford is a client of Commonwise Home Care. After managing the full-time care of her parents for over 5 years, Ms. Eckford transitioned the effort to us. Here is a bit more about the book, as well as quick Q&A with the author!
About The Book
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.
An Interview with Leslie Eckford, LCSW
Why was it important for you to write this book?
First, I must say that I have been honored to meet and work with some of the finest caregivers. Their dedication and attention is incredible. But there are a few bad apples out there. After having some very bad experiences with hired caregivers for my parents, I realized that I had made some very serious mistakes along the way. I believe that if I had been better equipped with the knowledge of the pitfalls, I would not have made certain choices. It’s important to me to share this in Aging with Care so that others can avoid these mistakes.
You distill a great deal of hard-earned wisdom, are there particularly mistakes you hope your readers will avoid in the home care management process?
Pay attention to security and due diligence. While it is easy to focus on finding a person who will be a good fit with your parent, you can easily fall into complacency about security. Don’t put it on the back burner. If you are working with an agency, don’t assume that this is all taken care of. Ask about their process of vetting a caregiver for their team.
Why did you ultimately elect to partner with Commonwise as opposed to continuing to manage the care yourself?
I am always looking for companies that share my priorities in home care: excellent care and a company culture that recognizes the value of every team member. I found that in Commonwise. But, most significantly, I was looking for a group that also includes an active RN presence. We had care through a large franchise company briefly in the past, but other than the first assessment visit, I never heard from the nurse again. At the time we partnered with Commonwise, my father’s health was worsening. He required complex care. I really needed someone who understood these complex needs and could oversee the team when I wasn’t there. Amber Roberts RN (Director of Nursing, Commonwise Charlottesville) is such an awesome manager. She does the training of new caregivers, is a resource to them, and always willing and able to update the care plan with me. She has been so patient and having her knowledge base and suggestions for improving care has been outstanding.