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A Caregiver for all Seasons…Doubtful: How do I know if I have the right caregiver?

caregivers

Hiring the right caregiver is a challenging process. Whether you hire a home care company to provide your loved one with a caregiver or you hire the caregiver yourself….it’s doubtful that you will find that one perfect match.  Perhaps you do find that perfect caregiver but they will not work for the rate you can afford to pay. You may have to settle for someone with less experience but the potential to learn and grow within the caregiver role.

Before you begin interviews or prepare to tell the home care company what you’re looking for…begin by assessing your loved ones current state of health, prognosis, personality and outline your primary reasons for seeking outside help. Are you just looking to provide companionship to your loved one, will the caregiver need to administer medications, take blood pressure readings, bathe your loved one?

Has your loved one been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease, perhaps have physical limitations or other impairments that is preventing them from living their life as they did in the past? Does the diagnosis physical limitations or impairments hold the potential for improvement? Or will their condition be a steady decline?

Most likely you will change caregivers multiple times through the duration. An elderly person who has just been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease for instance may only need someone to come for a few hours per day to fix lunch, do light household chores and run errands that your loved one is no longer capable of doing safely. At this stage personality and experience aren’t necessarily key factors in hiring the right caregiver, but as the disease progresses you may find that a good personality match is vital. Alzheimer’s patients can be aggressive, restless, strong-willed and the right demeanor is necessary to handle these issues on a regular basis.

Towards the end of the disease other qualities will be important…physical strength being one of them. Alzheimer’s patients eventually become unstable when walking, need help getting in and out of bed and can be strong as an ox when wishing to wander.  

You can save yourself some stress, frustration and anxiety if you realize from the beginning that managing caregivers, scheduling caregivers and defining caregivers job descriptions are activities that will continually engage you, occupy your time and cause sleepless nights. Their roles will evolve, increase, decrease and become more significant depending on the status of your loved ones health.