Selecting the right caregiver
As humans, we tend to notice that as we continue to age, we are unable to continue doing some of the activities that we liked to do when we were much younger e.g. sleeping late burning the midnight oil or extreme sports. This applies to the elderly as well who also experience other issues such as declining health and need either long-term care or end-of-life care. However, majority of the elderly population prefer to stay at the comfort of their own home than be sent off to nursing homes or hospital settings for caregiving. In light of this matter, many agencies have been established in Malaysia to aid families that are concerned in this matter. Despite this effort, many families still feel the need to filter the characteristics and requirements of the caregiver provided by such agencies as part of safety measures if said caregiver were to spend a lot of alone time with the elderly at their homes. Here are a few tips on how to select the right caregiver for the comfort of your loved one at home.
- Determine the home-care needs
Most caregivers have a similar set of skills that allow them to be a professional caregiver but specific needs can only be fulfilled by certain caregivers. For example, if your elderly needs help with medical needs such as wound dressing or tube feeding, a nurse would be more suitable than a caregiver. Therefore, it is important to know the needs of your elderly such as health care, personal care and household care.
- Screening potential caregiver candidates
Agencies involved in the caregiving process would usually have a simple profile of each caregiver to keep track of each and every one of them. Families interested in having a caregiver in the family for their loved one can do a simple review on the profiles provided and run their own background checks as well if necessary. Besides that, agency or company reviews either on online platforms, social media or word of mouth are also helpful for families who are new to the idea of hiring a caregiver. Families should also specify any specific jobs or needs the caregiver needs to provide for the elderly to ensure both parties can carry out their duties with ease.
- Carry out interviews if necessary
Interviews are a good way to interact with the caregivers you’re interested in to take care of your loved one. This helps to assess the personality and attitude of the caregiver which can be seen through conversations or body language to see if they are really as what their profile describes them to be. It also helps to make sure both parties are on the same page when it comes to the responsibilities, expectations of care and needs of your loved one. It also helps if another family member or close friend is present during the interview to allow a third person point of view or opinion about the caregiver before making the final decision. Sometimes, it's not just about skills. Families should take the time to see if the caregiver's personality is a good fit.
- Monitoring and surveillance
Just because you have hired a caregiver for your loved one does not mean that it’s the end of the process. You still need to ensure they are carrying out their duties and responsibilities as mentioned during the selection process. Spend some time to personally assess the caregiving process or get daily reports about your loved one from the caregiver at the end of the day. You could even get a family member that is at home more often to do so if you’re not as free to do it frequently. This helps to ensure your loved one has a good relationship with the caregiver as well as monitor the health progress of your loved one.