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Know Your Caregiver: Asking the Right Questions

It’s never easy allowing a stranger to take care of the one you love. A million and one negative thoughts might rush to your mind such as: “Will they take proper care of my loved one?” “Do they have MY best interest as well at my loved one’s?” “Will they be safe?” It’s a tough decision to make, especially when you feel like you’re the only one who can properly care for your elderly loved one. However, that is not the case.

Professional caregivers have a passion and desire to provide the best care they can to those who need it. That being said, it’s still very important finding the right caregiver for your parent or loved one. Here are some important questions to ask when meeting your potential caregiver.

What Kind of Experience Do You Have?
It’s very important to know the level of experience that your potential caregiver has. There are all sorts of various scenarios that different caregivers work through. Perhaps they have experience giving insulin shots for older adults with diabetes, or they have the proper social skills to interact with someone suffering with dementia. It’s good to gain an understanding of their previous experiences. That way, the two of you can align on the level of care your elderly loved one requires and everyone can stay on the same page.

It’s possible that your potential new caregiver may have limited experience. That doesn’t mean they’re the wrong fit. It just means there may be some extra training involved, which isn’t a bad thing. It may even provide you with the piece of mind knowing that your new caregiver is providing the same exact care as you would.

What Activities/Tasks Are You Comfortable With?
Some people can’t cook. Others have difficulty giving shots. Maybe this particular caregiver feels like vacuuming every week doesn’t constitute the responsibilities of a professional caregiver. Whatever the factors are, whatever the reasons may be, it’s important to align on what needs to be done, what could be done, and what shouldn’t be done. For instance, seniors take multiple prescriptions during the day. That’s a must. It’s important to coordinate with your potential caregiver on what medication gets taken when.

However, some caregivers may feel uneasy about giving shots to an older adult. It’s a difficult task. Nevertheless, if the older adult isn’t able to give themselves their own shot, the caregiver must be the one to do it. This needs to be known to them, so it doesn’t come as such a shock. If they feel they’re unable to do it, perhaps this specific caregiver isn’t the right one for your loved one.

Why Did You Become a Caregiver?
This is a VERY important question. As we stated previously, caregivers have a passion for helping others. Let them show off this passion by asking them why they became a caregiver. You’ll come to find that your mind will be able to rest easy after you’ve witnessed the devotion and dedication they have for caregiving. It’s very difficult allowing a stranger to take care of a parent or loved one, especially if you’re very meticulous over the type of care they receive. However, over time professional caregivers shed that stranger’s skin and become part of the family. If you’re having difficulty caring for a loved one while working and raising your own family, perhaps it’s best to find a new part to your family!

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