How to Find Mom the Perfect Caregiver
Posted on August 17, 2016
My Grandmother is
now 94. As an aging-in-place senior, she continues to live on her
own. Recently she's needed caregiver assistance, as she's not able to
cook on her own anymore. I remember it was a hard process for my mom
and her siblings to go through. Initially, my Grandmother resisted
the idea of a stranger coming into her home and helping her with
day-to-day tasks. Now she enjoys the help and companionship the
caregivers provide for her. She's thankful that she is able to stay
in her own home and maintain a good level of independence that she
might otherwise not have.
As a leader in
medical alert devices, Alert1 understands the difficulty of finding
caregivers to help with a loved one. My family's experience is just
one of many in finding a good permanent solution for loved ones. My
hope is that this article can help you and your family find excellent
care for your mom too.
Decide the Type of Care Needed
The most crucial
decision your family needs to make is the type of care needed. This
is where you need to be honest with yourself and your mom. Does Mom
need someone there in the morning to help her shower and do household
chores? Does she need someone in the afternoon to keep her company
and help run errands? Or does Mom need someone there all day, because
she shouldn’t be at home alone anymore? Once you know the range of
hours she needs the caregiver there, it'll be a lot easier to find
the right person.
Is Mom resisting the
idea of having someone come into her home every day? She claims that
she doesn't need the help, or that she doesn't want them to bother.
You know that you can't be there for her all the time. Your own job
and family takes up the majority of your time.
Start with a compromise. Tell Mom that the caregiver will only be
there when you can't. Set a trial period for a couple of weeks to see
how the experience goes. Remember, it will be an adjustment period
for everyone involved.
If Mom still
resists, talk to her doctor. Her doctor holds a lot of sway in her
life. What you have been saying to her for months may suddenly sound
reasonable when it comes from a medical professional. Doctors
understand these worries coming from the children of elderly
individuals. If appropriate, her doctor can recommend in-home
caregivers so Mom can stay in her home as long as possible as she
Starting the Search
Mom's doctor will be
able to help you start your search. Doctors can recommend great
resources for finding care. Also ask friends, family, and neighbors
if anyone they know uses a caregiver. You can get honest feedback on
what they have and have not liked about the care-giving process.
When you start
interviewing caregivers, check their references. Don't be afraid to
call and ask their old employers how their experience was. Include
your mom in the interviewing process, so she can feel more in control
about the decisions that are being made. You'll know you've found the
perfect caregiver when Mom approves.
The Trial Period
Make sure Mom’s
new caregiver knows that you want to try out the schedule for a
couple weeks. The caregiver will understand. They'll be able to
provide flexibility in the event that the schedule needs to change.
Routinely check in with the caregiver and your mom to see how things
are going. Check-in after the trial period to make any adjustments.
Remember the Process
There will be ups
and downs when finding Mom the care she needs. Remember that it is a
process. Your mom will have good days, and days where nothing can go
right. Take a deep breath and keep going. Once a routine is
established, Mom will feel better knowing what's going to happen. If
the schedule isn't working, change it! Just like life, care-giving
isn't set in stone.
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