So, you've taken the plunge and hired a caregiver for your loved one. But how do you know whether you hired the right caregiver? That's a tough call, especially when dealing with a private caregiver or a caregiver provided by a large in-home care company. Often, caregivers are sent from temp agencies and no one in the company has never even met them.
Recently, I was having breakfast at a local restaurant. A caregiver came in with her client, an older gentleman who appeared to have some cognitive issues. He was wearing a hat indicating service to our country as a veteran. The scene broke my heart.
After being seated, the caregiver left the client to retrieve food from the breakfast buffet. When the server approached, she ordered her own food while the gentleman ate. The care aide pulled out her phone and placed earbuds in her ears. For the next half hour, she focused on her phone. The server asked her what game she was playing and spoke to her for a moment. The caregiver did not look up at her companion, nor did she speak to him. At all. Not one word.
She paused her game twice: once to answer her phone and chat for awhile with a friend and once to fill another plate for her client. For the most part, she leaned over her phone as he stared ahead. I wanted to scream at her. I wanted to fire her. I would have fired her had she worked for us. The scene left me feeling sad for most of the day.
When looking for a caregiver, make sure the company has invested time getting to know them. Many companies advise their care aides to "keep their distance" with clients, meaning they are to keep their emotions at bay. They are basically told not to care.
With relationship-based caregiving, it's all about the heart! At Dignity Home Care Professionals, we tell our care aides that we want them to form a relationship with their clients. As a matter of fact, it's a requirement. We've seen too many instances of caregiving in Pittsburgh that are cold and transactional. Instances like the one pictured here. Caregiving minus the care.
For us, this is totally unacceptable. We put extra CARE in caregiving. It's what these precious seniors deserve. Don't you agree?