Bringing help into the home for yourself, a spouse or your parent is a challenge on several levels. Once you have determined there is a need for help, or you have been told by a healthcare provider it is time to bring in help, now you don’t know where to begin.
There is a natural reluctance and some fear about bringing in what now seems like a stranger but, if it is the right person it will begin to feel comfortable after a little adjustment. You will wonder what you did before this “angel” came into your life!
Often you will be given a list from a hospital, of agencies that might suggest private duty caregivers; but whatever path you take in your search you need to find the right match, not just a person who happens to be free on the days you request.
Finding the “right” caregiver sometimes means trying two or three before you find the one who is a match not just in skills, but in personality and temperament. Some of us love a talker who can keep us engaged and others like quiet and serenity in our environment.
Some families choose just on price. The lowest price agency will not necessarily be bad, but often they don’t truly give you what you are looking for. The difference of $1 an hour is only $40 a week Try for the best agencies. Be sure to select those that screen, do background checks, have required training, provide supervision, give benefits to their caregivers and are licensed by the State and Accredited by the Joint Commission if you want good quality care.
When calling agencies, these are some questions to ask about the matching process.
5 Questions That Need Answers
- How do you screen caregivers?
- How are matches made for skills and personality? If my mother wants someone who loves music and maybe plays the piano, can you find such a caregiver for her? Be specific. You might not get someone who plays the piano, but maybe someone has another musical talent.
- Ask about supervision. Is there is a supervisor? Can you give them feedback about each caregiver? If it isn’t working, will they send you another caregiver to try. Remember you didn’t marry the first person you dated (or most of us didn’t)!
- If there is some reluctance on the part of the person receiving care – start slowly. Even 2 or 4 hours a day can be all you need to build a relationship. Later you can always add more hours once the reluctance has been overcome.
- Communicate to the agency all the likes and dislikes of your family member. This gives the caregiver a good chance of being successful.
Success comes from good and ongoing communication. At Eldercare Services the care supervisors and the professional care managers work very closely to bring about relationship, not just caregiving assignments. It is about quality of life and not just filling the calendar with shifts of workers.
We are a team at Eldercare and everyone from the receptionist to the front line caregiver is committed to making the best match possible. It might take a few tries to get just the right person, but we don’t give up!