5 Ways to Help Seniors Adjust to a New in Home Caregiver
Having an in home caregiver assist your parent is becoming more popular as families decide to let their love ones age at home rather than in a community nursing home. Private home care gives you peace of mind knowing that your loved one is looked after and safe in a place they love. Home care aides often become an important figure in your loved one’s life too, offering companionship, assistance, and emotional support.
Sometimes, it is necessary to change caregivers though. Perhaps you feel that your current home care aide is not the right match for your loved one. Maybe the caregiver decided to move or switch jobs. Health care needs change over time too, and your parent might require a team of caregivers, not just a single aide. Whatever your situation, here are 5 tips to follow when changing your in home care provider to ensure your loved one’s comfort:
- Talk About the Transition Early
- Have Meetings With the New Caregiver
- Let Your Loved One Be Involved
- Overlap Caregiver Services
- Change Is Uncomfortable; Be Understanding
As soon as you know a new caregiver will be arriving to assist your loved one, let them know the transition is happening. Walk them through why the change in care is occurring and how it will affect them and their routine. Informing your loved one early will allow them time to process the change and ask questions. If possible, have the original caregiver go over the change in care as well and offer reassurance.
Most in home care providers perform consultations and meet with the family in person before starting care services. Use this time to ensure that the new caregiver has the qualifications and personality to provide the level of care your loved one needs.
Make sure the new home care aide understands your loved one’s health care requirements and what is expected of them. Ask how often they will be in communication with your loved one’s physician to fully understand their care needs, keep your loved one’s plan of care updated, and how they can accommodate any changes in your love one’s medical requirements.
Letting your parent be a part of the selection process allows them a sense of control and will make them more open to the idea of changing caregivers. Ask them what kind of person they would like to care for them, what types of activities would they like to do, or what foods they would like to have prepared for meals. Meeting with the new caregiver is also a great opportunity to introduce your loved one to them. Watch how they interact with the caregiver to see if they get along.
Take your time when introducing the new caregiver, if possible. Over the first couple of days, have the caregiver arrive for only a few hours at time so they and your loved one can get accustomed to each other and become comfortable with the new routine. If able, have the original caregiver in the home at the same time. This will to give your parent a greater sense of security and allow the new caregiver to observe and understand how to best take care of your loved one.
It’s very likely that your parents formed an attachment with your previous caregiver. Not only will they miss them, but they are probably feeling nervous about being cared for by someone new. Dealing with change, especially for Alzheimer’s and Dementia patients, can be a source of anxiety. Be patient with your loved one and encourage them to embrace the new change. Focus on the positives that having a new caregiver will bring, like new and exciting activities.
Selecting the right home care aide will allow your loved one to receive the health care services they need in the home they love. By following these steps and considering your loved one’s comfort, you can help your parent better their quality of life by providing them with a caregiver who can offer not only medical assistance but companionship and support.
If you or your loved one are not satisfied with your current in home care or are seeking a home health care provider, contact us today to see the services that are available in your area.