professional caregiver

At first, you may notice: Not all the household chores are complete. The food in the refrigerator has spoiled or mom hasn’t laundered her clothes in weeks.  But, your mom has made it clear she wants to keep living in her own home. Finding a professional caregiver with the right skills can be challenging and stressful.

elderly caregiver

Seniors can be very cautious about who they allow in their home. A professional caregiver from a licensed home care agency is one of the best options to allow seniors to continue living in their home.  Aware Senior Care realizes that not all clients have the same needs. Additionally, there is no one-size fits all personality for the perfect care professional.

It is understandable to feel vulnerable when we have to ask for help and we need care.  The right personality and compassion paired with ability can make the person in care for feel like they have dignity and control in their own home.

Finding a Professional Caregiver

Finding a good caregiver starts with finding an agency that will listen to your wants and needs and respond professionally.  Engaged and Attentive Listeners: They should answer questions and start the work of understanding which caregiver would fit your care needs, personality, and time frame.

Fine tuning your wants and needs can make an ordinary match magical.  Aware Senior Care has certain criteria that we look for in a professional caregiver.

Qualities and Caregiver Personality Traits:

Professional & Reliable Presence:  A caregiver should be on time, dressed neatly, and ready to assist according to the agreed upon duties.
All new relationships need time grow and blossom. Furthermore, the caregiver should have an overall understanding of the client’s needs and expectations by reviewing the task and summary provided by the Agency.

#TuesdayTips: Family in Focus - "Caregiver First"
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Firstly, part of being professional is keeping the focus on the client.  Additionally, it is common for friendships and bonds to occurs between family members, clients, and the caregivers. It is not permissible for caregivers to share their personal problems or needs with the client.

Comfortable with Hygiene and Other Personal Care Needs:  Often personal care needs, especially incontinence care, can be difficult for families to talk about. But, it is a real need for clients trying to remain independent and at home. Good caregivers will not only be competent in care, but will do so with respect and discretion. They will always preserve the dignity of the client.

Professional Caregiver Training

Training and Screening:  Aware Senior Care conducts complete background checks to screen caregivers suitable for employment.  References are checked to ensure only the highest quality caregivers are hired.  Upon hiring, caregivers go through an initial comprehensive training at orientation. This is followed by standard ongoing training and any specific training that directly relates to the client’s individual needs.

It is common for a team member to accompany a caregiver to the first visit.  They complete a follow up as well with both the caregiver and clients.   Annual Training is provided and reviewed as part of our Aware Senior Care protocol. Additionally, we will we train and advise caregivers to the unique challenges of each client.

Communication and Support: 
Comprehensive care starts with great communication between the Caregiver, Care Coordinator, Care Manager, Scheduler, and the entire Administrative Team.  During our Aware Senior Care Client reviews, we discuss the changing needs of our clients. This includes adjustments or enhancements to care. This strengthens the caregiver and client relationship. It is important that the entire Aware Senior Care Team knows our clients and their families to provide after hours support for them.

Compassion and Connection: The “Aware Way”

Our caregivers have a wide range of experience and skills. But, it will be common for them to ask clients “How would you like this done?”  The right way to complete the task is how the client would like it done.  Establishing a routine helps the client feel comfortable and calm.   This routine starts with good communication and a willingness to learn what works best for the client.

No matter what stage the client is in, we expect our caregivers to interact with your loved ones.  Compassion and connection are part of the Aware Senior Care WHY. They are the qualities we prioritize in hiring potential caregivers.  Providing personal and non-medical care is part of how we meet our clients’ needs.  But, supporting them emotionally and taking part in daily activities are important aspects of care.

Baking cookies, completing crossword puzzles, reading the newspaper, and going out for lunch. These are some of what turns daily living needs into a loving connection between caregiver and client. In this way, Aware Senior Care caregivers ensure that our clients have a safe, healthy, and enriching experience.  This provides peace of mind to families. Above all, they know that their loved ones are being cared for as if they were our family, too.

By Shannon Joyner, Human Resources