By Dr. Jacqueline Dupont Carlson, Gerontologist ~Assured In-Home Care, Inc.
Hiring a caregiver can be difficult therefore, the first impression is crucial!
Tips for smooth introductions:
1. Ask the caregiver to wear a name tag with large print, and their first name only. The last name is not important, and it is easier to remind someone of one name instead of two. Make sure the name tag print is bold and easy to read.
2. The caregiver and the family should speak the caregiver’s name as much as possible. Example: Hi Mr. Smith my name is Ashley, and I am happy to meet you. Later at lunch, Hi Mr. Smith it is Ashley again, it is time to take your medications. The following day: Good Morning Mr. Smith, it is Ashley. Wife: Ashley, could you help me unload the dishwasher?
3. Make sure the caregiver knows to approach the client from the front, with clear eye contact while speaking. Speaking from behind is distracting and can be confusing. Also, the client may read lips well. Check to make sure the client has hearing devices in place, if needed.
Knowing hearing limitations is critical. Do not speak softly, but not too loud, speaking clearly and in front of the person is more important. If the client is visually impaired, make sure this information was reviewed with the caregiver prior to starting work. Visually impaired seniors require special training and instructions.
4. Ask the caregiver to wear similar clothes each time they visit, so your loved one can remember them easier, especially if the client has multiple caregivers. Consistency is crucial. Also, you may want the caregiver to wear their hair the same way. Changing hair styles is difficult on someone who just met the caregiver. If the caregiver likes to wear their hair in a ponytail, great, but keep it the same style.
5. Allow for time to for you and your loved one to adjust, however, if you feel a caregiver is not a fit, call the agency after the shift is over. Communication with the agency is critical. Give concrete examples as to why it did not work out.
6. Tips for Breaking the ice-in order to build a nice relationship, include asking the caregiver to inquire about the client and his/her past jobs, volunteer work, hobbies or things of the past that make them happy. Tell these topics to the caregivers prior to starting the job.
7. Make sure the caregiver does not speak about the client in front of them, or report how the day went in front of new client. Out of respect- call the family or write notes for later.
If you have any questions about these tips feel free to reach to Assured In-Home Care at: 1(800) 925-7159 and ask for Dr. DuPont or any of our directors.