If you are considering hiring a caregiver, you will want to properly screen possible candidates to ensure you and your loved one are comfortable and satisfied with the services they offer. This is not a minor decision, so try not to worry about asking too many questions. There is no such thing! Matching caregivers with clients is a process exceptional facilities have perfected, but you should still do your due diligence and look for a few fundamental traits that are crucial for a caregiver to possess.
1.Experience: This is a vital quality in an exceptional caregiver. Ask about previous caregiving experiences and references when consulting with potential candidates. Many elderly individuals have preexisting conditions, so if your loved one is suffering from dementia or diabetes, make sure the caregiver you are considering has experience working with any conditions your loved one might have. If you are expecting caregivers to prepare meals, ask what kind of foods they enjoy cooking and if they are able to accommodate special dietary needs.
2.Expertise: Even the most well-meaning caregiver will be the wrong fit if he or she does not have the proper training or has not received necessary certifications. If a candidate is continuing education or taking additional training that goes beyond the state’s minimum requirements, these are excellent signs.
3.Compassion: Training and experience are crucial, but a caregiver also needs the compassion to back these qualities up. He or she will be taking care of your loved one and building a bond is an important part of the relationship. If your loved one does not trust a caregiver, or senses a lack of empathy, it will only cause him or her stress. An exceptional caregiver will be both professional and nurturing. Find out what interests a caregiver has. Given the amount of time they will be spending together, having common interests is a major benefit and will help foster an enjoyable relationship that will contribute to your loved one’s happiness and emotional well-being.
4.Patience: Caregiving is not always a walk in the park. The weight of responsibilities can burn out those who are not cut out for it. It takes a special individual to dedicate the heart, patience, and understanding caring that another being requires. This is especially true when it comes to caring for elderly patients who suffer from Alzheimer’s or another type of dementia. Ask potential caregivers if they have experience with others who have suffered from these diseases and how they were able to handle it.
5.Communication: Effective communication is key in just about any relationship, including the relationship a caregiver has with an elderly patient. Closely examine a candidate’s communication skills and attitude. He or she should be capable of helping your loved one remain calm and comfortable. If there is an issue with communication, this can inevitably lead to problems.