As much as you might want to take care of your aging parents 100% of the time, few of us are capable of doing so. Even the most dedicated family caregivers need help from time to time. It’s important that your chosen caregiver is the right fit and able to make your loved one feel safe, cared for, and comfortable at home. Great caregivers will take amazing care of your loved one’s emotional and physical needs. They will provide companionship to keep your loved one from feeling isolated.
Caregiving is not an easy job and not everyone does it well. It takes a special kind of person to be a stellar caregiver and sometimes it is not immediately apparent whether the person you have chosen fits the bill. It’s important that you keep a close eye on the situation and honestly evaluate the quality of care your loved one is receiving.
Evaluating the quality and connection your caregiver and your loved one can be complicated. Cognitive impairment, complicated medical needs, and simple interpersonal chemistry can create grey areas. Sometimes poor connection or undone job duties may be the result of dementia related agitation or an unforeseen crisis.
All of these complications and more mean that even the most skilled caregiver might not be a perfect fit for your loved one. So, how do you know when your caregiver is the right fit, or if it’s time to find someone new?
Here are 5 important signs that mean it might be time to start looking.
Your Loved One Isn’t Clicking With The Caregiver
The major goal of home care is to provide your loved one with an elevated quality of life. This definitely includes social interaction and general mental well-being. Sometimes, poor connection between your loved one and a caregiver is simply a matter of chemistry. Often, poor connection doesn’t reflect on the quality of the caregiver. Sometimes people just don’t get along. This is especially true if your loved one is not happy to have a caregiver in his home, or is suffering from cognitive impairment.
You may need a different caregiver if you notice signs of increased agitation, aggressive behavior, or withdrawal in your loved one. You know your loved one best. If she seems to act differently in the presence of her caregiver, it’s important that you take note.
Issues With Reliability And Punctuality
We depend on our caregivers to be trustworthy. After all, we are trusting them with the safety and well-being of our loved ones. It would be hard to imagine anything more important than that!
The fallout from a caregiver who is frequently late can be disastrous. Many people are on a very tight, demanding schedule. Tardiness can lead to complications for you and other caregivers . You compensate good money to ensure this doesn’t happen!
The subject of reliability can be especially sticky in situations where the caregiver is otherwise a superstar and this leads a lot of families to simply put up with it. No matter how personable and effective your caregiver is, if you can’t rely on them to be on time, you should probably find someone who can do both. You want the best for your loved one. You shouldn’t settle for good enough when there is someone out there who can give you better.
The Caregiver Doesn’t Work Well With Family Members
Taking care of your loved one is a team effort, and a team is only as strong as its weakest link. If your caregiver adopts a know-it-all attitude that leads to arguments with other members of the team or tries to isolate the family from the patient, you should definitely draw the line there.
Sometimes this behavior can stem from your caregiver becoming overly protective. Caregivers spends lots of time with their clients and may feel they know what is best. However, it can also be a way to hide less-than-stellar care or even abuse. Either way, this sort of behavior is simply unacceptable.
Your loved one will be happier and better taken care of in an open environment that fosters feelings of trust, teamwork, and positive energy. Don’t let a bad apple spoil the bunch!
The Caregiver’s Personal Life Affects The Quality Of Care
Your loved one’s care should always be the main concern of the caregiver. Full Stop. Senior care, unfortunately, is fertile ground for abuse. Abuse begins when the needs of the caregiver start to overshadow the needs of her client. It’s a slippery slope and you should never tolerate this sort of behavior.
Now, everyone has a bad day from time to time. Nobody is perfect, but if you notice a pattern of personal problems creeping into the work environment, you should consider a new care provider. Your caregiver is there to provide comfort to your loved one, not the other way around!
Poor Quality Of Care
It’s incredibly important to monitor the level of care your loved one is receiving. Keep watch to ensure your caregiver is completing all required duties. You hire a caregiver because you need additional support and want piece-of-mind. If you notice a tendency to leave “little” things undone, your caregiver may neglect more important things, as well.
There is often “downtime” in home care. Your caregiver should utilize that time to meet your loved one’s needs. If you notice a lack of tidiness, decline in your loved one’s hygiene, or lack of task completion from your caregiver, you need to take immediate action. If you aren’t sure what all your caregiver can do for your loved one, check out this article:
Sometimes a conversation with the caregiver is enough. If that fails to remedy the situation, you shouldn’t hesitate to look elsewhere for help.
Ultimately, trust your instincts. If your gut is telling you that your caregiver isn’t up to snuff, you should pay attention to that feeling. Additionally, it’s important to have a conversations with your loved one about her caregiver, from time to time. If you feel there are gaps in the care you are receiving, don’t be afraid to ask your caregiving agency to send someone new. Or, if you hire privately don’t settle for mediocre care. There is an outstanding caregiver who is a great fit for your loved one – you just need to find her!