Caregiving is one of those things you never plan for, and you rarely think about before you actually need it. Then once you do, you have no idea where to start. You go into crisis mode trying to find something as quick as possible.
If you ask anyone who has been in this situation, they usually can provide you with all kinds of tips on where to start and what to look for. Hindsight is 20/20 as they say, and with caregiving, its definitely true.
Because you’ve never hired a caregiver before, and probably have no idea about what to look for, you may be approaching it in all the wrong ways. If you don’t know what services you will truly need, you don’t know the right questions to ask. Which means you’re at risk of hiring someone entirely inappropriate for the job.
And of course there can be even more complications if you are planning for all of this for a parent who is hundreds of miles away. Whether you are in town for a week or two to find solutions, or are doing the work via Internet and phone calls, how do you know which direction to go?
After working with many, many clients over the years, and being in the situation myself with my own parents, there are a few tips I can share that will help you as you start out on this new journey.
Involve The Patient
This one sounds like a no-brainer; the person receiving the care should be involved in the process. Yet its also an easy step to overlook. When you’re busy behind a desk or making calls and taking in advice, its easy to start making decisions as your comfort level increases. But in the end, its your loved one who will spend time with the caregiver. They need to be comfortable together, and have a connection that will allow them to work well together every day. Make sure you ask your loved one what is important to them; seek advice along the way, getting as much input as possible. [Read more…]