The elders in our communities have unique needs that most of us simply don’t, though we will all get there one day ourselves. Because the needs of the elderly are so different and often need to be addressed on a strictly case-by-case basis, it can be overwhelmingly difficult to find the right caregiver to assist your loved one when they reach the advanced stages of their life.
You undoubtedly want to connect with a caregiver who is not only experienced and professional, but also compassionate and capable of putting their patients’ needs as a top priority. The search for the perfect fit in your loved one’s life can be an extensive one. In the time it takes to interview prospective caregivers and then determine which one is the best option available, frustration can take hold and make the process even more arduous. That is why we are here today – to help you weed out the best caregivers possible in your area.
Below we will give you 5 valuable tips that you can apply to your own search for an elder caregiver.
How to Choose the Right Caregiver for Your Elder
Elders are just as deserving of the high caliber of care that the rest of us are. That is why the search for a caregiver can be so drawn-out and intense. Hopefully, these 5 tips will help you to find the right caregiver for the job more efficiently.
Know What Your Needs Are
There are many different roles that a caregiver can fill when they provide in-home care to your loved one. Some elders will require more care than others. Here are some considerations that you should keep in mind when assessing the specific type of care that will be required of those who work with your aging family member:
- Personal hygiene care
- Meal preparation
- Transportation assistance
- Dispensing of medicine
- Care for the elder’s pet(s)
You might find the seemingly perfect caregiver for your loved one, only to realize that they lack in a critical area that you’ve deemed necessary. So, it pays to make sure that you know what you need before you even begin your search.
Pen a Job Description
While it is critical for you to assess and realize your needs from a caregiver, it is equally important that prospective caregivers know what your needs are as well. After all, they cannot provide the quality of care needed otherwise. So, you should make it a top priority to guarantee that caregivers you interview are aware of exactly what will be expected of them. Miscommunication can lead to frustration and even create the need to find a new caregiver later on.
Prioritize Hiring a Professional
Yes, family members and friends can be great resources for short-term elder care. But in many circumstances, the business aspect of such an agreement can lead to tensions between family members. Additionally, family members who act as constant caregivers can quickly become burnt out and even grow physically ill themselves as a result of pushing themselves too hard.
Instead of relying solely on family and friends, consider hiring a professional caregiver – at least on a part-time basis – to lighten the load. These individuals are experienced and licensed, which gives them a notable step up from well-intentioned family members and friends.
Not sure where to find a professional? If you are a part of a church or other community outlet, you can ask those who share this space with you. There are also many online resources for you to look into, including social media sources!
Interview Prospective Caregivers
We understand that the need for an elder caregiver can feel pressing, as if you need to hire the first caregiver that comes along and can meet your criteria. But you need to be sure that the caregiver is not only a professional match for your elder loved one, but also a personal match. This is especially true of caregivers who are providing companionship in addition with other care services.
The best way to find a caregiver that meshes with your family on a personal level is to conduct thorough interviews. Make a list of questions that you consider essential to have answered, but don’t be afraid to go off-list if anything else comes to mind.
Check Their References
As a part of the interviewing and application process, the interviewing caregiver should be able to readily provide a list of references for new clients to reach out to. References may include individual patients, other caregivers and professional care facilities or hospitals where the caregiver formerly worked (or currently works). Check in with these references to get a glimpse into the quality of their care in previous experiences.
Caring for an elder is never an easy job, but with the help of the right caregiver, some stress can be relieved from your family. Make sure to hire right the first time by applying these 5 tips to your search for a caregiver.