Home Care: How to tell if a Caregiver is doing a good job

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On November 20, 2012, Posted by , In Caregivers, By ,,, , With Comments Off on Home Care: How to tell if a Caregiver is doing a good job

You’ve finally done it—you’ve hired an in-home caregiver for your elderly loved one.

Now you’re faced with a new challenge: determining whether or not the person you’ve entrusted your family member’s well-being to is doing a good job.

The best way to evaluate a hired helper is to periodically drop in, unannounced, and check to see how things are going. This will obviously be easier to do if you live close by.

Here are a few questions you should ask during a drop-in:

  1. Is the care plan being followed? There should always be an official care plan in place before the caregiver walks in the door on the first day. Any deviations from the plan, unless they were previously discussed and approved by you, should not be tolerated.
  2. Does my loved one appear safe and well-adjusted? Unless there are actual signs of mistreatment or abuse (bruises, cuts, etc.), it can sometimes be tricky to gauge whether a senior is safe with a caregiver. Look for certain behavioral signs from your elderly loved one, such as withdrawing, or a reluctance to talk about time spent with the caregiver.
  3. Is my loved one’s quality of life being improved?  The goal of home care is to improve an elder’s quality of life. Family members should try and determine whether or not their loved one’s life is being noticeably improved by a caregiver’s presence.
  4. Is my loved one expressing concern? If a senior is of sound mind, and they voice a concern about a caregiver, you should discuss the issue with the agency office first, as opposed to addressing the caregiver directly.  Bear in mind that if an elder suffers from a disease that impairs their cognitive abilities (i.e. Alzheimer’s) they may be prone to making unintentionally false accusations against a caregiver. In these situations, it’s important to remember to take your loved one’s complaints seriously, but allow for the possibility that their disease may be impacting their ability to understand what the caregiver is doing and why.
  5. Does the caregiver communicate well? Communication is essential to maintaining a safe, effective relationship with a professional caregiver and an agency. It’s important for everyone involved in the care process (family members, professional caregiver, care managers and the senior themselves) to be open and honest.
  6. Does the caregiver seem invested in the well-being of the senior? Is the caregiver attentive to your loved one’s needs? Do they maintain a calm, concerned demeanor when dealing with difficult behaviors?
  7. Is the caregiver reliable? Do they show up to the house on time and ready to work? Do they often have to have other caregivers cover their shift?
  8. Does the agency keep tabs on their caregivers? Most reputable home care agencies will have supervisors who will come by the house on a regular basis—sometimes announced, sometimes unannounced—to check and make sure that the caregiver is following the care plan, and to see how the elder is doing.

Source:  http://www.agingcare.com

Contact Pure Home Care Services at (586) 293-2457 today!  If you live in Macomb or the surrounding area, we can help you care for your loved ones.

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