Characteristics of a Good Elder Home Caregiver

No one wants to put their parents, grandparents, or other elderly family member in a nursing care facility but there may come a time when this might happen. If they can function in some capacity at home with some help then it might be advisable to hire elder home care personnel to come to their home and help with daily chores, bathing, dressing, cooking, taking them to their doctor’s appointments, and more. To ensure that you are hiring the right caregiver here are some characteristics that you should look.

One of characteristic you should look for is flexibility. Yes, many times each caregiver has a specific shift they work but sometimes things can happen and the next elder home care personnel may be running a few minutes late due to a car emergency, unexpected traffic, etc. You want to make sure that the caregiver who is there is flexible enough that they can stay over a few minutes until the other caregiver gets there. This is very important because in some cases the elderly may not be able to be left alone for even a few minutes. One example is if the elderly is suffering from an early form of dementia or gets confused easily they could accidentally try to cook themselves something to eat and burn themselves or leave the stove on, possibly causing a fire, or they could wander off. You want to make sure that your elder parent is taken care of at all times.

You also want to make sure that the caregiver pays attention to their patient, especially in regards to how they are acting. Most elderly see their physician’s once a month or maybe every three months so the caregiver should be aware of any changes they might notice in how their elderly patient is acting, their skin color, their energy level, whether they are eating and how much, etc. When anything out of the ordinary medical wise is noticed it can be addressed as soon as possible. This can help to prevent their elderly patient from becoming ill and suffering from a serious illness, hospitalization, or even death.

An elderly home caregiver should also be willing to sit and listen to their patient talk. In addition to listening to them talk the caregiver should have some interests the same as their patient so they can talk about their interests, play games such as cards with them, watch their favorite shows with them, etc. Some caregivers will even take their patients out for a drive, to have lunch out, to visit their friends, and more. A good elder home care personnel needs to have the ability to take care of their patient but also to be a companion.

Do You Have a Family Caregiver Backup Plan?

As the family caregiver, you have a multitude of items on your responsibility list. Caring for your aging loved one is always one of the most important things you do. Balancing your loved one’s care with your own family’s needs, your job and other obligations is no easy task. Having a respite care backup plan in place can help to ease your stress and so you can focus on your loved one’s needs.

Below are some common instances when respite care from an elder care provider can provide much needed relief.

Illness. As the family caregiver, it can be devastating when you get sick. If your loved one’s health is in a delicate state being around them when you are sick can compromise their good health. A senior home care provider can jump in to take care of your loved one so you can take care of yourself and get healthy.

Celebrations and Events. As the family caregiver, it is understandable that you sometimes pass on attending events with family and friends. However, certain events simply cannot be missed. Weddings, graduations, the birth of a child, these important events require your attendance. An elder care professional can be your backup when missing an important event is simply not an option.

Work. According to a recent survey, more than 60% of family caregivers modify their work schedule to accommodate caregiving. What do you do when you have to travel for business? What happens if you have to pull an overtime shift? Who will be there when you have to work and simply cannot be there to care for your loved one? Finding a reliable senior home care agency that can provide a professional caregiver to cover for you is essential.

Life and Family. Sometimes life simply gets in the way of your responsibilities as a caregiver. When the kids need your attention or you need to take the car in to get worked on, an elderly care provider can be there to ensure your loved one receives the best possible care.

Space and Distance. Sometimes the need for a senior home care provider is necessitated because of the distance between you and your loved one. Whether you live across town, across the state or across the country, it can be difficult to get to your loved one to help with their needs. A care provider can be there when you can’t be.

Across the country families make critical decisions about how to care for their loved ones. Many families rely on senior home care agencies, like Visiting Angels, to provide at home care. Larry Meigs, President and CEO of Visiting Angels, explains, “Professional senior home care providers make it possible for family caregivers to take care of all the other responsibilities in their life. Respite care is an essential component of providing at home care. Our senior home care professionals make it possible for family caregivers to take better care of themselves so they can take better care of their loved one.”

If you are a family caregiver take time to create a backup caregiving plan. Investigate the possibility of having another family member or senior home care professional as your backup. You’ll be glad you did. Call your local Visiting Angels office to learn how senior home care services can help you establish a backup plan for caring for your loved one.