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Having access to in-home care is an invaluable service for people who need some assistance and support to remain in their homes when others can’t provide the support they need. This may be a short term requirement when recovering from surgery or a new baby or it may require some long term support for the elderly or terminally ill.
Due to the personal nature of a carer, it is important to ensure you have the right match for your needs. The carer will be spending lots of time with the person needing the assistance, in the home environment and their personal space, so it is vital to have the right match.
What are the mistakes to avoid when selecting a home-carer?
- Failing to determine the needs and preferences first
Without understanding the need, how can you find the solution? Write down the specific care required and what those tasks entail. Do you need assistance with a bath or do you mean whilst showering? Don’t just generalise tasks either – housekeeping is a broad term whereas you may just need assistance with cleaning the bathroom and floors. Also, does your loved one prefer a male or female carer?
- Failing to create a care plan
Using the known needs and preferences you have already noted, develop a care plan with some checklists that detail what the caregiver is going to do each day. You need to supply access to money for purchases and other important information to enable the caregiver to complete the required tasks. The care plan should also have some emergency contacts.
When you are clear about the job and the expectations, then it is easier to offer the right match. Don’t just assume all carers are the same.
- Failing to understand the advantages of an agency
When you engage an agency to provide you with a carer, you have access to additional services than just the carer. And if your carer is absent (whether holidays or illness), the agency will always supply a replacement carer. Whereas, if you engage a carer directly, whether a friend or through advertising for the position, you may not have that option. All agency staff is fully qualified, police clearance checked and approved.
- Failing to do due diligence before you commence
Don’t just take someone’s word that they will offer a service to assist, make sure you do a background check and read testimonials from other clients. Will your carer have the appropriate insurance? What happens if there is an accident? What’s the emergency procedure? And above all, does your patient like them, is there a personality connection? Have you just got a verbal agreement or a legally binding contractual agreement?
Most importantly, you need a carer that suits your care plan, not the carer’s plans. We are more than happy to be available for a conversation regarding the decision to hire a carer for your loved ones without any obligation.