5 Tips for Hiring a Caregiver for Your Senior Parents
The ailing health and aging of your parents is a part of every family's life cycle. As an infant, your parents look after you. As an adult, you're the one taking care of your senior parents. But, what if you're unable to be there every time? What if your job is too tough, or your child is sick, or you're in another country? The best option you have is to hire a caregiver.
While hiring a caregiver for your senior parents, you should prepare a comprehensive set of your requirements beforehand. You also need to figure out which company or platform you're going to use and determine your budget. Once that's done and you have candidates to choose from, analyze their technical and medical skills and consider the profile, social background, and professional experience.
Hiring a caregiver for your parents means there's no room for assumptions or recklessness. Instead of randomly asking anyone if they'd be interested in the job, you have to micromanage every detail to get things just right.
Alright, so you want someone to treat your parents with kindness and care while you're away? Here are some tried-and-proven tips that can get you the best possible results:
1. Prepare a List of Your Requirements
First things first, you need to go through your parent’s lifestyle and routine and understand where they need the services of a caregiver. As an outside observer, you may assume that a caregiver is just like a regular house help, only with a few additional skills.
Albeit, in reality, caregiving work is way more strenuous, both emotionally and mentally. So, before you go searching for a caregiver, you have to be sure what services your parents want. Here, you have to factor in each part of their routine.
- Do they have trouble waking up in the morning?
- Do they need someone to accompany them in the loo?
- Do they go for a morning walk, or do they always want someone to read them the newspaper?
- What's their diet like?
- Is there any arrangement for domestic help, or do you expect the caregiver to change sheets or vacuum the rug?
- What are their medications? Any disabilities that they need human assistance with?
These are some of the dozens of questions that'll pop into your mind when you take a closer look. These will also help you follow our next tip.
2. Filter Your Sources
The next step is to select a suitable source (or sources) for caregiver candidates. This can include:
- Your workplace circle
- People you've worked or studied with in the past
- Your family members
- People from your parents' lives
- Someone from a professional caregiving facility
You will find that candidates who can provide different services come from other source pools. For instance, your parents' neighbor may agree to cook for them and clean the house once a week. A currently jobless friend might be up for daytime attendance for most routine tasks.
A professional caregiver may be able to provide a maximum number of services around the clock. In short, the results of your quest will vary with your requirements and contacts.
This will also impact the salary you can afford for a caregiver, which brings us to the next tip…
3. Plan Your Budget Wisely
Once you have an idea of who's willing to offer their caregiving services, your next step would be to look at the resources you can allocate for this job. In some instances, you might be able to afford a premium-grade professional caregiver with more services than you actually required.
In another scenario, you might also realize that you'll have to drop some services to adjust to your budget. This entire process is a slippery slope, which is why you have to probe around a bit to figure out the rates for different caregiver services and their accommodation and welfare expenses.
4. Analyze their Social and Technical Skills
After you've done the basic filtration and budgeting, it's time to narrow down your options. Besides the regular caregiver services that are a part of the contract, the caregiver you hire should also have a thorough knowledge of breaking the ice when it comes to seniors.
This means that the caregiver you bring in should be able to form a bond with your parents. They need to have effective communication skills and emotional intelligence to put up with the moodiness that comes with old age.
Other than this, a caregiver must also be fairly skilled when it comes to technology and software such as the Ohana app. Since you're away from your parents, a caregiver's technical skills can help you stay in touch virtually!
5. Check For Work Experience
The last tip we can give you is to check for work experience. When you’re hiring a caregiver for your parents, you want to ensure that they know what they’re doing.
Look for experience that shows they have dealt with senior citizens before. This could mean anything from volunteering at a senior health center to working as a professional caregiver.
Quiet often people think that caring for others who need help (such as children or disabled individuals) qualifies them to work as a caregiver for seniors too. However, this isn’t true! Seniors citizens need special care so ensure the caregiver you pick has experience with elder individuals.
Picking a caregiver for your parents is a stressful process – both for you and your parents! But it doesn’t have to be. With these 5 tips, you’ll see that the hiring process can go a lot smoother than you anticipated!