Taking care of your loved one when they get to the age they can no longer care for herself or himself can be tricky business. Unfortunately, not all caregivers are equal in the quality of senior home care they are willing to give. Finding a good one you trust with your senior loved one can be easier when looking for the following traits during the interview and trial period. While this list isn’t an all inclusive list, here are some traits to start with.
- The caregiver is willing to simply be. Many people of senior age aren’t going all the time. There are moments when they don’t need to be doing anything and it’s helpful for the caregiver to be okay with that.
- The caregiver is willing to be flexible. Life isn’t always predictable. While schedules can be followed, there are times that the next aide doesn’t show up on time or a senior wakes up, needing extra care. If dementia is a factor, it will be even more critical that the caregiver is flexible.
- The caregiver is willing to pay attention and notice changes, even subtle. When giving care to the elderly, it’s important to pay attention to their overall health and well-being. Changes in their demeanor, eating habits, bowel movements can be helpful in determining health changes early on. These can then be passed on to medical personnel to consider in the person’s health condition.
- The caregiver is willing to work without drama. Many seniors are particular about how things happen. If someone is full of drama or feel their preferences are above the senior they are providing home care for, they can create an inhospitable environment for the senior and that can cause more stress in the home.
- The caregiver is willing to step out of their comfort zone and leave their ego at home. There may be times when the client needs you to do something for their comfort and benefit that isn’t something the caregiver is comfortable with. Doing small things that will help give comfort to the senior client is important.
- The caregiver has similar hobbies or commonalities. While this isn’t a must, it is helpful when a caregiver can find commonalities to bridge gaps with the senior client. Finding out if the caregiver has similar interests can come as the result of looking at their resume, asking a question, but sometimes it comes with time and getting to know each other.
- The caregiver is willing to arrive a few minutes early for his or her shift. It’s helpful to the whole house operations if the caregiver can communicate with the person who is there last. Communication is critical to good senior home care.
- The caregiver is willing to be firm when necessary. While you want someone your senior aged loved one can get along with, there are times when a little firmness is needed. Certain tasks may not want to be completed, but need to be for the health of the senior client, like taking medication or eating. When the caregiver can be persuasive in a kind way, it can be beneficial to the client.