Many of us have a loved one who needs assistance with daily living as she ages. If our loved one has a choice, she would likely have a family member to take care of her instead of a non-family caregiver. In that sense, your caregiver is an extension of your family. Therefore, a good long-lasting relationship with your caregiver is tremendously beneficial to you and your loved one.
This is very different from other services we receive. When we go to a restaurant and get bad services, we are not happy of course, but that is temporary, and you can switch easily to a different restaurant next time. Caregiving is unique in that a good caregiver is not easy to come by, especially one who is skilled, understanding, and works well with your loved one.
So it is recommended that you give your caregiver a chance to build such a good relationship. To reach this goal, you may consider the following:
- Create a good working environment
- Treat your caregiver with respect. People typically reciprocate what they receive. In response, most of the time, your caregiver provides better services to your loved one.
- Care about your caregiver as a person and get to know her. From the bottom of our heart, we want others to care about us. Your caregiver needs care too. It doesn’t need to be a big surprise; small things work well, e.g., asking “How are you doing?” and offering something to drink.
- Prepare basic supplies such as adult briefs, disposable hand gloves, hand sanitizers, paper towels, and other supplies needed for caregiving tasks.
- Encourage sharing tasks and companionship with your loved one
- In general, you would like your loved one to stay as active and as involved as possible to maintain functionality.
- If your loved one enjoys cooking but has trouble standing, ask her or him to sit down and do the cutting. If your loved one likes to garden, help plan the garden and guide the caregiver on how to plant the seeds.
- Sharing tasks and companionship often makes people happy and gives a sense of purpose.
- Give feedback in a timely and sincere manner
- If some things are not done to your satisfaction, you should raise that as soon as you notice that. Don’t wait. Typically, things will continue as they are now if we don’t give feedback.
- You can point out the things that your caregiver has done well first, then raise your concerns in a polite manner and discuss ways to improve. Note that clarifying your preferences and expectations upfront can avoid much of such concerns. If your caregiver misunderstands, you should describe your preferences and expectations again.
Remember, doing these things are for the benefit of your loved one. In some cases, if your caregiver behaves inappropriately despite what you have done as specified above and what your home care provider has done to correct your caregiver, it may be time to ask for a different caregiver. Whenever needed, it is our honor to provide support to help you with the process. See what we offer and reach out to us here. TeamCarer provides non-medical home care in the metro west area of Boston, Massachusetts, including Brookline, Newton, Wellesley, and Needham. You can call us at 888-895-7020 extension 1 or send us a message here.