Opting to get an in-home caregiver can be a godsend; however, if expectations are not made clear from the beginning, the whole experience can turn into a total nightmare. Part of the confusion comes from the fact that the duty of a caregiver changes based on the patient’s level of need. All that to say, there is no boilerplate routine that a caregiver brings to the table. Instead, a plan of care needs to be carefully crafted to address the specific needs of your loved one. To help, we’ve put together a “no-fluff” list of eight duties that will provide the basis of a well-thought-out care plan.
Communication is key. Clearly outline your expectations and requirements to your caregiver to make their job description crystal clear. Things such as hours of care needed, household duties, shopping lists, and strengths and limitations of your loved one should be discussed in detail. In addition to the initial meeting, periodic meetings should be scheduled for feedback and updates on your loved one’s health and changes in behavior. This would also be the apropos moment to give the caregiver a five-cent tour of the abode, so that they can orient themselves to the property.
Help with Activities of Daily Living
Help in this area includes, but is not limited to: transferring (walking), toileting, bathing, dressing, and eating. Transferring in and out of bed, wheelchairs and cars may also fall within the caregiver’s scope of care, depending on your loved one’s level of ability.
Daily meals should be prepared to ensure that your loved one’s daily nutritional needs are met. This can also include shopping for food as well.
Assist or monitor daily intake of medications. This is of paramount importance if your loved one suffers from dementia.
Driving to and from medical appointments, running errands, and leisurely outings.
In more cases than not, a patient may lack the mobility necessary to keep their house in order. With that said, make a list of house cleaning responsibilities that will help your loved one reside in a clean living environment. Household duties such as mopping, vacuuming, dusting, cleaning,taking out the trash and recycling, and getting mail are commonly requested of caregivers.
Gimme a Break
No one in their right mind can do this job 24/7: It is physically and emotionally draining. Scheduling time for your caregiver to get some downtime is in everyone’s best interest. If your caregiver is working at their optimal level, your loved one is sure to get the best possible care.
Be a Friend
This could be as simple as watching TV, talking, playing cards, or going to the movies. During the more challenging times, a caregiver may need to be there for emotional support and be a shoulder to cry on.
Baking these eight caregiver tips into your loved one’s plan of care will reduce stress and make for a more pleasant experience. Find a home care provider now.