In the United States, over 65 million people provide care for a chronically ill, disabled or aged family member or friend, according to the National Alliance for Caregiving. Even though 29 percent of the U.S. population is providing care, this doesn’t mean that all 29 percent is cut out for the job. Anyone can attest to the joys, rewards and challenges of caring for another but how do you know what characteristics should be present when looking to hire a caregiver for an elderly loved one? Keep the following traits in mind when you’re on the hunt:
A caregiver should be able to offer a sense of companionship to the older person. They have to be willing to sit without feeling like they should be doing something at all times. Many times, home care providers offer this service on an hourly basis.
Sometimes issues arise when a caregiver has to arrive early or stay late. There are many elderly individuals who suffer from dementia or Alzheimer’s and can’t be left alone for any period of time. Is the caregiver willing and able to arrange his/her schedule to fit that of yours or your elderly loved one?
Attention to detail
Often times a caregiver has to notice a patient’s change in skin color, eating habits or moods because the doctor isn’t around every day to monitor them. This isn’t something that requires medical training but caregivers are responsible for observing changes and taking the appropriate course of action if they do feel that a trip to the doctor is necessary.
This isn’t a must-have but identifying commonalities between your elderly loved one and his/her caregiver can be beneficial for both parties and will make the caregiving process much easier. It helps establish a bond that goes beyond essential caregiving duties.
The most important thing to consider when looking to hire a caregiver for your elderly loved one is to thoroughly consider his/her needs and decide what he/she would want most out of the relationship.