Working With A Caregiver

Many families opt to bring in professional caregivers to ensure their senior loved ones receive optimal care. The decision to hire a caregiver can offer several benefits, including spending quality time with the loved one and receiving additional support and assistance to help them age in place. However, transitioning from being the sole caregiver to having someone else help with your loved one’s care can be challenging. This article explores some helpful tips to make the transition as smooth as possible and create a comfortable and nurturing environment for your loved one.

1. Defining Responsibilities

To ensure a smooth transition when bringing a professional caregiver into your loved one’s home, it’s essential to define everyone’s responsibilities. While a caregiver is trained to assist with most activities of daily living, as a family member, you may have specific tasks you want the caregiver to accomplish. By creating a clear outline of these tasks, everyone involved can be on the same page.

For example, if you want the caregiver to focus on providing cognitive stimulation to help slow down memory loss, while you handle other household chores, it’s important to communicate that clearly. Alternatively, you may prefer to spend quality time with your loved one while the caregiver runs errands or goes grocery shopping. Defining these expectations and responsibilities can help prevent misunderstandings and ensure that everyone is working together to provide the best possible care for your loved one.

2. Share Calendars

Families often have multiple people who provide care for their loved ones. As a result, it can be challenging to keep track of appointments and events. A shared calendar system can help you communicate with your loved one’s caregiver about important upcoming events. You can remind the caregiver of your loved one’s upcoming health appointment or jot down notes about a senior social event that’s coming up. A shared calendar system can also be used to document any changes in the care plan, ensuring that everyone is aware of any updates or modifications.

3. Create Personal Space

A home caregiver understands that your loved one’s home is their own, but it helps when they have somewhere to put their things for safety purposes. For instance, the caregiver may need to store their day bag and car keys out of reach if your loved one has dementia and is at risk for wandering. Overnight caregivers may also need private spaces for sleeping. Making the caregiver comfortable means that they can focus solely on helping with your loved one’s needs.

4. Communicate Frequently

Care plans often change for seniors, and being able to communicate with a professional caregiver makes things easier for everyone. You can work with the caregiver to set up a time to talk or exchange phone numbers for quick text updates. Setting up a more formal meeting may be helpful for establishing major changes in the plan for meeting your loved one’s needs. When everyone is on the same page, it is easier to provide consistent care and ensure that your loved one’s needs are being met.

5. Give Everyone Time To Get Comfortable

It’s important to remember that it takes time to build trust and establish a good relationship with a caregiver. Give your loved one and the caregiver time to get comfortable with each other. Over time, a professional caregiver begins to feel like a member of the family. 

Work with an agency like Saige Homecare that strives to provide a consistent caregiver your family can get to know over time. Once you find one, take the time to get to know each other. Providing some information about your loved one’s interests and dislikes also gives the new caregiver a starting point for beginning to form a close relationship.

6. Show Appreciation

Professional caregivers provide a valuable service, and it’s important to show your appreciation for their hard work and dedication. This can be as simple as saying thank you or leaving a note of appreciation, or it can involve more tangible expressions of gratitude like giving a gift or planning a special outing. Showing appreciation not only makes the caregiver feel valued and respected, but it can also help to build a stronger relationship between the caregiver and your family.

In conclusion, bringing in a professional caregiver to assist with the care of your senior loved one can have many benefits, but it’s important to approach the relationship with care and consideration. By defining responsibilities, establishing a shared calendar system, creating a personal space for the caregiver, choosing a method for discussing changes and concerns, giving everyone time to get comfortable, keeping lines of communication open, and showing appreciation, you can work together to provide the best possible care for your loved one while also enjoying more quality time together as a family.

If you’re considering professional caregiver services for your senior loved one, be sure to do your research, ask plenty of questions, and choose an agency that prioritizes quality care and compassionate service.