Choosing a caregiver for a loved one can seem overwhelming and potentially life-altering.
Finding the right caregiver can be a great start to a new chapter. So, try to stay positive. The right caregiver can improve the quality of your loved one’s life by helping them get out more, engage in activities they enjoy, or just brightening their lives on a daily basis. Finding the right caregiver is like finding a friend and you can rest easy knowing your loved one is in good hands.
On the flip side, there are caregivers who are aren’t going to be the right fit for your loved one. Their style may not match the particular needs of your loved one, even if their heart is in the right place.
You don’t always know who you are going to get, which is why the decision-making process can be a lot to handle. However, it doesn’t have to be. You can feel better and have a better chance of making the right choice by being thoughtful, open-minded, and by paying attention to these tips. By taking the decision seriously, you’re already halfway toward choosing the right caregiver for your older loved one.
Some tips for making hiring a caregiver easier include –
1) Realize that this is one of many decisions you are going to make
One of the trickiest decisions is often choosing between home care and a nursing facility. Staying at home has a lot of benefits and one of them is that it is considerably more flexible. You may have a lot of questions to ask a nursing home facility, but until you have the experience of having a loved one live there, you don’t know exactly what it is like. If it isn’t a right fit, there is a lot of paperwork and logistics involved in finding a new home and moving your loved one. There is also a financial cost and the consistent disruptions might be harmful, especially if there is dementia involved.
There are disruptions and difficulties in finding a new caregiver, of course, both practical and emotional. But it is important to understand that you aren’t locked into a lifelong decision. A caregiver is an employee, and usually an at-will one. If he or she isn’t working out, they aren’t working out, and you can find a replacement.
We say this not to tell you to take the decision lightly, but to reduce the stress involved. Too often we strive for perfection, and that is almost always the enemy of the good. We have a wide range of caregivers for that reason – so we can help you match personalities and individuals that are capable of helping with your requirements.
2) Understand your home care needs
It is very important to truly understand what your home care needs are so that it’s clear the support you need. Most home care providers, including Annie’s Place, have a wide range of services they can offer. So, it’s vitally important that you are clear on what you will want help with so we can match the right people to these needs.
3) Develop a budget
Everyone would love to have a wide ranging team of caregivers working round the clock. For most people, however, that isn’t a reality. That’s why you need to fully understand how much you and anyone else in the family can realistically afford before you start the search. Taking care of a loved one can be stressful enough; you don’t want to add to that stress by being suddenly overwhelmed by costs.
4) Involve all Stakeholders
All relatives who are important to the care of the individual should be consulted. Make sure siblings, aunts, uncles and any other relatives are part of the decision, have inputted what they can contribute (time, money, food, etc), and use that as part of your planning. If there is one person who can’t afford much but can come by once a week and prepare several healthy casseroles that means no one has to cook during the week, take that into account. That’s part of your overall needs assessment.
5) Ask the right questions
Don’t Be Interview-Shy. When bringing someone in for an interview, don’t be hesitant to ask tough questions. Find out if they have done similar work before. Ask them their comfort level and their personal history. Don’t be rude or overbearing: remember these are human beings who are doing a difficult and important job, but be firm and be honest about expectations.
6) Communicate with your loved one
It’s easy to look at spreadsheets, divvy up responsibility, and do the requisite paperwork, but you also need to check in with the person who is being given care, They have to have a say in this as well, as much as possible. Don’t exclude them. If you can, have them be in on interviews. They need to feel comfortable and develop a relationship.
We hope that you find the journey to finding a caregiver an easier one. At Annie’s Place we work closely with clients to help them match their needs with our outstanding caregivers. To find out more about what we can offer you and your family, please contact us.