Finding the right caregiver to help your senior loved one get through his or her senior years comfortably and safely can be difficult. You want to ensure that the caregiver you choose is patient, compassionate, and able to meet your loved one’s needs. You also want to ensure that the caregiver is trustworthy because he or she will have access to your loved one’s home and be responsible for ensuring that your loved one follows the established care plan. 

Below are some considerations your family can keep in mind to find the right caregiver for your aging loved one.

What Makes A Good Senior Caregiver?

Hiring caregivers is not as straightforward as many would like. During your search, look out for the following characteristics that make a good senior caregiver:

Understanding: A good caregiver takes his or her time to understand the care needed. Is the client on any special medication or diet? Can the client complete some tasks on their own? Does the client need full, physical care? When the caregiver understands what the client needs he or she provides quality care.

Attentiveness: A good in-home caregiver is attuned to the emotional and physical well-being of the care recipient, noticing any changes that may arise. At times, your aging loved one may not be aware of changes in his her life or may be unable to communicate those changes. An attentive caregiver can notice these changes and respond to them promptly.

Dependable: A good caregiver is one that you can count on to perform care responsibilities without continuous supervision and one who is always on time as agreed. 

Patient: A good senior caregiver understands that slowing down is part of the aging process. As such, he or she does not rush the elderly, allowing them to move at their own pace.

Good Communication Skills: People in different age groups communicate differently. Because the individual providing companion care will probably be younger than the patient, they should be able to communicate clearly as this will help put the senior’s mind at ease.

All the home caregivers at Caring for Portland have the above qualities and more, as well as personality traits that your senior loved one will appreciate. We provide premium home care services to older adults and do everything possible to ensure that your loved one feels cared for and valued.

Ways to Find the Right Caregiver for Your Senior Loved One

Whether you are using an agency or you prefer hiring an independent contractor, the following considerations will help you find the right individual:

  • Evaluate your home care needs. Begin by evaluating the help that you need in the areas of household care, personal care, and health care. Are you in need of home health care like medication management or physical therapy? Are you in need of non-medical personal care like help with toileting, bathing, meal preparation, dressing, or house chores, or are you searching for a sitter or a companion? Assessing your home care needs is the first step to finding the right individual.
  • Write out a job description. Write a job description based the help that you need. ensure to include:
  1.     Ability to lift senior;
  2.     Ability to operate special equipment;
  3.     Driving (specify whether you need a car or only a valid driver’s license);
  4.     Specify the health care training you need (i.e., what level and type: Registered Nurse, Licensed Practical  Nurse, or Certified Nursing Assistant).
  • Create a job contract. Develop a job contract that includes:
  1.     Hours of work;
  2.     Job description;
  3.     How and when payments will be made;
  4.     Unacceptable behavior (such as tardiness, violence, and aggression);
  5.     Termination (reasons for termination and how much notice for termination);
  6.     Caregiver’s social security number (because you need to report paid wages to the IRS).
  •  Know where to search for a caregiver. There are several places from which you can find a caregiver. You may have friends or neighbors who can care for your loved one. You can also ask for in-home care recommendations at senior centers, local houses of worship, or with workmates. Family members can be prospective caregivers; however, hiring, supervising, and terminating an employee are business decisions; as such, family members may not be the best fit. If you can afford it, hire a professional caregiver.
  • Prepare to interview prospective providers. Prepare questions that you want to ask the applicants, caregiver agency, reference, or referral source. If you do not know which questions to ask, contact a caregiver agency. The agency will assist you because you are a potential customer.
  • Interview applicants. After screening applicants on phone, have a one-on-one interview with those that meet your criteria. Request a friend or family member to sit in on the interview as they can provide valuable opinions. 

If you are interviewing a caregiver agency, ensure that have a one-on-one interview with the in-home caregivers. An agency employee may look perfect on paper but may not fit your religious or cultural preferences.

  • Check references. Examine the references keenly and talk to everyone that has been listed as a reference. This will help you find someone that is dependable, reliable, and qualified.
  • Have a background check conducted on the applicant. Getting a criminal background check will put your mind at ease as it will show you whether or not the applicant has convictions for offenses that may put the safety of your loved one at risk.  If you are hiring from an agency or hiring an agency, ensure that the agency conducts criminal background checks.  
  • Be thoughtful when you hire a caregiver. You want to hire a worker that is experienced in the areas you need help. For example, individuals who have Alzheimer’s disease usually need assistance with bathing and toileting; so, look for a caregiver who is experienced in dealing with seniors with this illness.

Family caregivers may not be the best fit when it comes to caring for your elder loved one. Therefore, seeking outside help may be the best option for you and your loved one. Here at Caring for Portland, we are committed to providing clients with dependable services that will exceed their expectations, relational compatibility, and peace of mind. We appreciate the contributions that the elder generation has made in society; as such, we provide long-term care to older adults at the comfort of their own homes. Contact us today. We are prepared to discuss your loved one’s needs and provide the appropriate level of care.  

 Should You Work with an Agency?

Working with an in-home care agency to find a caregiver is ideal. Here’s how:

  • Liability protection: This means that if a caregiver gets hurt while working, the agency covers the cost.
  • Quick upgrades: If your loved one’s diagnosis changes or needs increase, most agencies will quickly provide a caregiver with more training.
  •  Personalized care: Agencies have caregivers who provide household care, as well as medical care. If your loved one needs both, an agency can provide a worker who can perform both tasks.

Contact the In-Home Care Specialists in Portland, OR.

If you are looking for an agency that provides in-home care, look no further than Caring for Portland. We provide services for the elderly such as social interaction and respite care, meal preparation, medication services, personal care assistance, transportation, light housekeeping, and nursing services. We take the matchmaking process very seriously; therefore, whether your loved one wants a quieter, calmer personality or a louder, outgoing personality, you can rest assured that we will match him or her with the right person.

We are here to ensure that our patients get through their senior years comfortably and safely. Feel free to contact us at 503-836-3909 today!