An older person in the family would need specialized care and assistance all day and all night in some cases. However, not everyone would be able to be attentive for all hours as they have their work and life schedules to incorporate as well.
So, for families that need extra assistance, there are lovely individuals called caregivers that can help take care of the needs of your elder loved one when you can't. The person can be living with the family in the home or come at certain times of the day.
Deciding to enlist the help of a caregiver is one thing, but choosing the right one for the older members of your family is another. And with that said, this article highlights some tips to help you choose the right caregiver for an aging parent.
1. Know Your Parent’s Home Care Needs
Some elderly parents may need more assistance, whereas others may need less. And perhaps, there’s a possibility that they would be a bit more demanding and still adjusting to life with their families after spending years by themselves.
In addition, there are many needs to consider for older adults, like do they need more medical care, should someone assist them with self-care and hygiene, or are they mostly still self-sufficient? And so, finding the right caregiver will depend on the specific needs of the person they are caring for.
2. Assess The Caregiver’s Qualities
The best caregivers have a set of characteristics to look for that would make them the ideal choice. And to help you during the selection process, here’s a list of considerations and qualities you can take into account:
They Need To Be Compassionate
Compassion is perhaps the main distinction between a caretaker vs caregiver, as the first-mentioned care for human beings while the latter would usually look after possessions. And so, one of the essential characteristics to look for in a caregiver is empathy or compassion towards their patients, their health and well-being, and the family.
They Should Be Able To Handle All Situations Patiently
A caregiver should notice your aging parent’s frustrations and support them through the transition and adjustment period with patience. If there is a rigorous medical routine to follow, the same amount of patience and care would have to be applied.
They Should Have Good Experience
Someone without the proper training in caring for aging individuals may quickly become frustrated with the situation and later on become resentful. This scenario shouldn't be a problem for a seasoned caregiver with the necessary experience.
For that reason, ask for their credentials and record of experience to ensure that you appoint one that can meet the needs of the elder members of the family.
They Should Be Attentive To The Needs Of The Elderly
Caregivers should be able to notice any changes in demeanor, vital signs like heart rate, and dietary needs like the intake of fluids and healthy foods. If there’s any cause for concern, the caregiver should immediately notify the family, doctor, or hospital.
They Should Be Dependable
The elderly generally become dependent on their relationship with the caregiver and would expect them to be there to support them. If caregivers aren't able to show up as they should, it can create a gap and trust issue between them and the person they should be caring for daily. On top of that, the family may feel less comfortable leaving their elderly parents in their care.
3. Get Recommendations
Taking care of another person, especially an aging adult, is a big responsibility, and the person that would be there for them should be reliable and trustworthy. A caregiver should be trusted to successfully manage their shift and ensure that everything has been well cared for regarding the older person and their families. Having no trust between the parties could leave everyone dissatisfied, especially the aging parent who needs the most assistance.
Caregivers should have enough integrity to do their daily tasks with their patient's care, creating more trust. And a way to do this is by seeking recommendations from friends and family who recently hired or worked with a caregiver. Considering their experience, they can refer you to reputable and trustworthy caregivers who can best take good care of your aging parent.
4. Screen Their Credentials
Candidates should present their qualifications to the family during their interviews. Having a certificate of proof that they indeed have the necessary training is crucial. Formal qualifications would be needed where the aging parent needs more medical care. Without it, critical steps in the care process may be overlooked.
If in doubt, contact the school or institution the person got their qualification from to verify the validity of their training and credentials.
Taking Care Of It All
The mutually beneficial relationship between caregivers and their patients is possible through understanding, compassion, patience, dependability, and trust. Of all of these, compassion would carry most of the weight.
Families should carefully consider caregivers before appointing them to ensure that they are the right fit for their aging parents. Along with knowing the specific home care needs, screening a caregiver’s credentials, and getting referrals, look at their qualities and characteristics too.
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