One of the most important responsibilities that a home care company has to a client and their family or loved ones is coordinating the right caregiver, or the best-fitting caregiver. Although it is tempting to just schedule whoever is available without thinking about what the client needs or wants, it is far more rewarding to listen to your clients and spend the time and resources identifying and arranging the best-fitting at-home caregivers for that person.
At Collier Home Care, we look at four factors in achieving a high level of compatibility before a private caregiver steps foot in a client’s home. Those are:
1. What level of care is needed? Does the client need basic homemaking and companion assistance such as grocery shopping, meal planning, meal preparation, errands, light housekeeping, laundry, companionship, and more? Or, perhaps the client needs standby or hands-on assistance with the activities of daily living (ADLs) including help with transferring, ambulation, toileting, bathing, dressing, grooming, and feeding? Or, a combination of both?
2. What special skills does the in-home caregiver need to have? Does the client have a diet restriction which would require the caregiver to do meal planning, grocery shopping, and food prep (such as individuals with diabetes)? Does the client have a Hoyer Lift requiring the in-home caregiver to have special training in using a Hoyer?
3. What is the client’s diagnosis and does the caregiver have training and experience in this particular area of caregiving? Does the client have dementia? Does the private caregiver have experience in dementia and redirecting? It’s comforting to the client and family to know that the person who is helping you has helped others with similar health issues.
4. What kind of personality does my client have? Is my client quiet and reserved or an extrovert and talkative? Will my client respond better to someone who has a take-control type of personality or someone who has a more passive approach to caregiving, staying in the background but still being effective? What kind of person would my family member or loved one feel most comfortable with having in their home?
It is critical for the home care agency to strive for the best-fitting caregiver. In order to achieve this goal, the company must know its caregivers well — their experience, skills, background, availability to work and their personality — and also get to know their client. Prior to scheduling care, it is important to meet with a new client and his or her family or loved ones to gain an understanding of health challenges, important needs, family dynamics, and becoming familiar with the client’s personality and preferences.
When the home care agency achieves a good fit, chances are that both the client and caregiver will appreciate each other and enjoy their time together, increasing the potential for a long-term relationship and helping the client to remain safe and independent at home over the course of many years. Family members can also rest easy knowing that their loved one is receptive to the home care services being provided.