How To Find A Great Caregiver For An Older Loved One?

Those looking for elder care options have an important decision to face. Learn about the choices and how to determine the best fit.
How To Find A Great Caregiver For An Older Loved One?
Elderly care help & advice. Image/Pexels

If you are like most people, you may be wondering how to find a great caregiver for your older loved one. When choosing the right person or agency to care for your parents or other senior family members, there are many things to consider. If this is something that has been on your mind lately, read on! We will discuss some helpful tips and steps in finding the best possible caregiver. 

Let’s start with why it is important to make sure that an elderly family member has reliable help at home. For one thing, it can be difficult (and sometimes impossible) for them to live alone if they have no choice but to do so because of their lack of mobility and/or declining health. It could also put their safety at risk. Another important thing to consider is the emotional health of your senior loved one. If they are lonely, depressed or confused about their changing situation, it will be an extra burden on them if they have no one to talk to or interact with.

Having someone who can help out around the house is also a big plus for seniors who need assistance.

Here are 6 things you should do when looking for a caregiver:

#1 Check References Carefully

The last thing you want is someone who comes in and does something harmful or unsafe to your parents or other senior family members because they aren’t qualified enough. Also, good communication skills are important.; After all, this person will interact with them daily, and you don’t want an uncomfortable environment in your home! You can usually find out if the person has any criminal records (and therefore should not be hired) and whether their former employers were satisfied with their performance by simply asking about references. It’s also vital that the background check is done properly when hiring someone from an agency. If there is no reference sheet or information about the caregiver available to you, this is not a good sign.

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*All individuals are unique. Your results can and will vary.

#2 Extensive Background Check

Even if you are sure that your loved one will only be with them for an hour or two, it would be a good idea to conduct a background check on the person (or group of people) who might care for them. This may include having to do fingerprinting or criminal records checks. If they come from an agency, the caregivers should already have these things done before they start their work; you cannot rely solely on the agency to provide these services. It’s also important to find out what kind of training has gone into providing quality care.

#3 Find Out About Pay Rates

Caring for your elderly loved one can be very demanding emotionally and physically, especially if it’s a live-in situation. If you find someone who is qualified and will care for your parent or another senior family member (and not charge an arm and a leg for their services), then this might be the best thing that ever happened to them!

#4 Assess Communication Skills

It’s important that your loved one feels comfortable with their caregiver; after all, they’ll be spending a lot of time with them on a daily basis! Make sure that they have good communication skills so they can interact well with your older loved one. Check out how friendly and considerate they are towards seniors when talking to them during interview sessions. Depending on where they work from, you might also want to assess whether or not there has been any effort to make the office area accessible for wheelchairs and walkers (if necessary).

#5 Assess Caregiver’s Organizational Skills

Having someone who keeps things in order around the house is definitely a huge relief, even more so for older adults! You want to find out about their organizational skills by simply observing how they keep their workspace during interview sessions. Also, see if anything (like medicines) has yet to be put away when you arrive at your senior loved one’s place of residence after work hours. This will give you an idea of how much attention to detail they have when it comes to caring for your loved one.

#6 Make Sure They Can Handle All Types Of Senior Family Members

No two seniors are alike; their needs and personalities will differ greatly. That’s why it is crucially important to make sure that the caregiver you hire has experience in dealing with different types of seniors. This includes cognitive levels and health conditions (for example, a person living with cancer will have a different set of concerns compared to someone who has diabetes). Make sure that they’re up for this challenge by asking them questions about what type(s) of seniors they’ve had prior experience with.

Conclusion

Finding the right caregiver for your older loved one can be challenging, especially if it’s a live-in situation. However, with these tips, you will get on the right track to finding someone who is dedicated and caring enough to take care of them.

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*All individuals are unique. Your results can and will vary.

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Dr. Keith Kantor

Dr. Kantor has been an advocate of natural food and healthy living for 30 years. He is also on the Board of Directors for NAMI.org in G

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