In our previous blogs, we have talked about what to look for in selecting an in-home carer, recognising that the decision is a highly personal one. Ensuring the person is trustworthy and has the right experience are a given, but the question then arises, how do you know the individual is actually doing a good job? There is no one-size-fits-all set of criteria by which you can measure this, for what is ‘good’ for one family, will be different for another. There is however some general guidelines you can follow.
We at Careseekers, recommend you establish a care plan, and ensure it is being followed. In general, it is important to establish what tasks will be required of a carer each day. These may include bathing, toileting, washing, cleaning, and/or cooking.
According to Dr Katherine Smith (MBBS), GP Registrar Primary Care at Wagga Wagga Base Hospital, some more informal observations can also be made. Dr Smith, suggests you ask yourself the following:
- Does my loved one appear safe? Look for any behavioural changes from your loved one, such as withdrawing, or a reluctance to talk. Ask them from time to time if they are happy with the care they are receiving. Additionally, ask if there is anything they would like to change?
- Is my loved one experiencing maintained or improved mental well-being? According to many families, the reason they hire in-home care is to maintain the independence of a loved-one, by keeping them connected to their community and established rituals. Family members should try and determine whether or not their loved one is experiencing continued quality of life, or indeed, is it noticeably improved.
- Is your carer open and communicative? This will assist in hand-overs, and ensuring that any changes are anticipated and managed in advance.
- Does the carer seem attentive to your loved one's needs? Is your loved one clean and being attended to in a timely fashion? Are they attending their outings or appointments?. Does the carer maintain a sense of calm in the work they do? Do they ask questions of the family in order to establish a rapport with the person they are caring for?
- Are they reliable? Do they show up to the house on time and ready to work? Do they seem dedicated and willing to offer help?
At the outset of any relationship, Careseekers recommend you be aware of the insurance policies that cover your carer, as well as any training they have undertaken. Importantly, always undertake background checks of your caregivers. References from third parties will help you in the evaluation of whether a carer is going to be a good fit for you.
This above is by no means a definitive list of suggestions on what to look out for. Indeed, we’d love to hear from you about what measures have worked for you. Feel free to send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org your thoughts.