How to Properly Choose a Caregiver For your Loved One

There comes a time when difficult conversations must be had with an elderly loved one in your life that requires a caregiver, but is not receptive to the idea. These conversations can initially be overwhelming for both the loved one and the elderly person, as they start to make a plan about how their lives will change, but as so many Americans continue to live longer with a number of chronic health problems, enlisting the help of a caregiver is a very realistic and responsible choice in order to ensure an elderly person is well taken care of. This also tends to be the best option for those families who are not geographically close enough to care for their loved one full time but see the need for change in the current situation.

In determining the needs of your loved one, continue the dialogue to assess what is most important to both of the parties, such as, full time versus part time care, what daily activities the individual partakes in and what kind of assistance is needed with those, if any, as well as whether overnight care or meal assistance is needed, among many other factors.

Once needs have been determined, it is important to build a pool of applicants to interview. Caregivers build a very personal and intimate relationship with those they care for, thus, it is critical that the individual not only approves of the caregiver, but shares something in common and can trust that person.

Factors to Consider for Caregiver Interviews:

  • Previous employment: It is important to know why they left, when, and if there were any complaints filed.
  • Experience working with different medical conditions: As we continue to age, one medical issue can turn into many, thus, you want to make sure a caregiver is prepared and knowledgeable in how to manage the conditions.
  • Physical limitations of the caregiver: Many caregivers are required to help assist an elderly person in and out of bed, wheelchairs, as well as the bathroom.
  • Experience with emergency situations: Depending on the individual’s need, this may or may not be very important and if the caregiver does not have the needed experience, you need to assess whether they have the tools to learn or properly deal with an emergency.
  • Previous criminal history: Financial and physical elder abuse happens far too often by caregivers who take advantage of the elder’s situation, which negatively impacts everyone involved.
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