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How to choose the right caregiver for your needs

Updated: Mar 29, 2023

A caregiver comforting an elderly man

Choosing the right caregiver for your loved one can be a huge task. This is because you want the best care possible for them but don’t even know where to start. On the one hand, some caregivers end up being life changers in someone’s life. They end up being s


o helpful and caring that the patient's life is greatly improved. On the flip side, some may not match your client's specific needs even if their intentions are pure. This decision doesn’t have to be daunting if you have the proper guide on how you can pick the right care for your loved one. Below are some of the factors you need to look into when choosing the right caregiver for your needs;

  • Understanding the care needs of your loved one

The care needs of your loved one will be determined by the current condition they are in. some may require minimal help with their activities of daily living and others require a lot of help either due to the fact that they are bedbound or have cognitive issues. With this understanding, you will be able to determine the level of care needed for your loved one. Some of the questions you can ask yourself when determining the level of care that you will be looking for include- how much help they need with their activities of daily living. Are they stable when walking or are they a fall risk? Do they need to be taken for various activities or appointments? Do I need someone who can perform light housekeeping, plan and prepare meals, or administer medication?

Once you understand the care needs to be required for your loved one, you can write them down as this will be helpful information when you decide to hire an agency to help you find a caregiver or use this information to assess the caregiver’s qualifications during interviews

  • Understanding your budget

We all would love the best healthcare providers to care for our loved ones. Unfortunately, for most people, the budget can be a huge constraint. It’s important to assess your budget first before you settle for the caregiver. It wouldn’t help if you add more stress to yourself and your loved ones by being overwhelmed by caregiver costs.


  • Consult with all the stakeholders

Having a family discussion on the right way that you would want your loved one taken care of is very important. This makes the family members feel involved and the loved one does not feel like decisions were just dumped on them. During this consultation, you can discuss how you will be making visits to your loved one if you do decide to take him or her to a nursing home and you can also decide how you can be helping out by getting stuff that your loved one likes such as getting their favorite meals. And if the family member offers to take care of your loved one for a few days, add this information to your care needs.

  • Prepare a list of the duties or job description

To prepare this list you will need to combine the information you came up with when assessing the basic care needs of your loved one as well as the information you have collected during the family meeting. It's important to be totally honest with the job description because it helps you only find caregivers who know they can handle the job and are qualified to do so.


  • Choose between private care and agency

Private care seems somewhat challenging to vet compared to agencies because it’s not always easy to vet individuals. However, choosing between the two is best based on your needs.

  • Consult other people for recommendations

You can also consult your friends who have to care for their loved ones. They can give you tips on what to look for in a caregiver and even recommend good caregivers or agencies that they know of.

  • Don’t be afraid to ask the tough questions in the interview

The interview process is very important as it gives you an understanding of the caregiver’s personality. This is important to ask detailed questions about their work history, the kind of challenges they have experienced in their work and how they dealt with them, and how they plan to take care of your loved one given the job description you have given them. But don’t forget that caregivers are human too so be firm but don't be too overbearing or rude.

  • Conduct a background check

If you decided to go for an agency, you can ask them if they conduct background checks. If you have decided to go for private care you can conduct the background check and verify their credentials yourself.

  • Communicate every decision with your loved one

Keep your loved one informed on every decision you make and even plan to have them present during the interview so they can also decide if they feel like they can get along with the caregiver being interviewed.


Conclusion

In the end, you can find someone with all the required certifications and experience and come up with great recommendations, but you still have to make a guess. You can’t exactly predict how things will go on a daily basis. All you can do is take a leap of faith and go by what feels right for you, your family members, and your loved one.


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