When you hire someone to take care of your senior loved one, you want the very best. Unfortunately, a resume and previous experience can only tell you so much about the person. There are some other characteristics that you need to look for before entrusting a caregiver with your aging loved one’s life.
- Flexibility – There will be times when your schedule changes. There will be times when you run late or times when the next caregiver calls in sick or has transportation problems. You need to make sure the caregiver you choose to hire can be flexible when needed. This doesn’t mean you should take advantage of the person’s time, but it does mean he or she may need to stick around for an extra hour when you are stuck at work or come in on the occasional Saturday.
- Initiative – The caregiver you hire should show initiative, particularly in emergency situations. You do not want someone who cannot act quickly or who is afraid to make a move without receiving orders. For example, if your senior loved one becomes injured, the caregiver should be able to make a quick decision about how to handle it, depending on the nature and severity of the injury. If the caregiver senses that something is not right in any situation, he or she should come up with a quick solution.
- Creativity – Most caregivers can do basic daily tasks, but a good caregiver will get creative about the way your loved one spends his or her day. Whether providing live-in or hourly care in San Antonio, the caregiver will find ways for the senior to help prepare meals, come up with arts and crafts projects, and even help the senior learn a new skill or participate in a new hobby.
- Emotional Strength – Physical strength is often necessary when caring for seniors, but emotional strength is always important. If your loved one faces a serious illness, becomes depressed about losing some independence, or can simply be difficult, the caregiver must have the strength to handle the bad days along with the good.
- Good Communication – Communication is key when it comes to caregivers. Seniors who suffer from problems like dementia or diseases like Alzheimer’s may have a hard time communicating their own needs, so it is up to the caregiver to find a way to understand what the person needs to be healthy and comfortable. You also want someone who is willing to communicate with you about the events of the day, even when things did not go so well.
- Enthusiasm – The person should enjoy his or her job and view it as more than a paycheck. You do not want someone who sits around counting down the minutes until you come home to take over. You want someone who engages your loved one in conversation and pays attention to your senior’s emotional needs. The person should truly love working with and being around older people.
It can be difficult for families new to caregiving to pick out these characteristics in a caregiver. That’s where we come in. At Home Care Assistance of San Antonio, all of our caregivers undergo extensive screening and background checks to ensure that they provide the highest level of home care San Antonio families can trust. Call us today at 210-495-6300 for more information about our highly trained, reliable and compassionate caregivers and find out if home care is the right choice for your aging parent, grandparent or loved one.