Making tough choices that make life easier

Choosing the right caretaker can be stressful. Assigning the best person for the most important hire you’ll ever make means taking time so everyone can have peace of mind. It’s important that not only the family feels comfortable with the decision, but also the most important person of all — your loved one.

Keeping these few things in mind will help guide the process.

Before the Interviews Begin

Bring all the players to the table. Literally. Not only will having input from everyone involved make the decision easier, it will also take the pressure off one or two people. Have dinner in a comfortable and private setting so everyone can voice their concerns.

Write a job description for the perfect caretaker. Obviously, you want someone who exhibits patience and kindness, but you also need to consider whether the caretaker should have advanced knowledge to address specific health needs.

Think outside the box. Does your loved one still participate in activities away from the home? How will you handle transportation? Are there hobbies or routines that are non-negotiable?

Also, think about those things that will rule caretakers out. Does your loved one have their own set of “rules” for the individual? Remember, the caretaker will quickly become part of the family. Who will fit in but still keep the relationship professional?

No one wants to talk money at the table, but this time, it’s okay. It’s important that your family establishes a budget range. What’s comfortable? And don’t forget to leave room for emergencies.

During the Interview

Keep the questions open-ended. You’ll need to know specifics about qualifications, and you’ll also want to know how the person communicates. Remember that he or she will be working with your loved one, so pay attention to the tone of the conversation as well as non-verbals.

Take notes during the interview. If some loved ones aren’t able to make it to every interview, they will appreciate as much information as possible. Write pros and cons during each interview so you can support a healthy discussion later.

Ask the caretaker what he or she will need to best do the job. Will you be able to provide for those things? Can your family pool resources? Nobody likes surprises after a decision is made,
especially when finances are involved. Remember your loved one’s comfort, but remember that some things just may not be possible. Are there alternatives?

Making the choice

It’s time to bring the players back together, and bring your notes. Chances are you will not be able to check all the desired elements off, but your family will need to make sure the requirements in the job description are fulfilled.

Do a background check and contact references. While you may get a good feeling from someone, you’ll want this added level of confidence in your decision. This is an important step that professional caregivers understand is necessary.

This may sound businesslike in its approach, and it is. The tricky part is also involving your heart and allowing everyone to be involved in the final decision. Just like in all other family discussions, everyone may not get what he or she wants, but compromise without sacrificing quality care for your loved one is essential. And open, organized and respectful communication is key.

Whether you’re seeking someone to simply help with errands and companionship, or looking for around the clock assistance, we provide in-home care services 24/7. Call 1-800-798-6565 or simply fill out the form to get started.