How do you find a good caregiver?
Two years ago our son qualified for 30 hours of caregiving help. We were thrilled! Finally, after many months of dead ends, we were going to be getting!
Thankfully, the first person who showed up at our door was a perfect fit for David. We still have her in the afternoons and she has been a huge blessing.
We also had a fantastic morning caregiver. She, too, was perfect for David but in different ways. Our morning caregiver was like a big sister to David. She was strong, cheerful and could play his hand help game with him. That was an added plus since his Dystonia had gotten to the point where it was too difficult for him to play himself.
Sadly, we lost Candace, our morning caregiver. She left our caregiving company for a full time position.
So now we find ourselves in the position again of finding another morning caregiver. This time, it hasn’t been so easy.
But now, after two years we know a few more things.
We know better what to look for in a good caregiver. We have our list.
I’m going to share my list with you in hopes that it could help you or someone you know who is looking for a good caregiver.
Of course, my list won’t be exactly like your list since David’s needs aren’t the same as your loved one but it will be a place to start and will at least help you get your wheels turning.
1. We need someone strong. Although our caregivers from the company we are using aren’t supposed to “lift” David, they do need to “transfer” him. He is 6 ft tall and cannot walk or stand on his own so we need someone strong.
2. Someone who isn’t “large” (to put it nicely). That just won’t be able to maneuver David in the bathroom since it is not a wide space. Plus, they have to be able to get him downstairs on the stairlift and that isn’t easy for a large person.
3. Someone who is patient. It takes David a long time to spell out his answers on his alphabet chart.
4. Someone who is cheerful. What more can I say about this point? It’s miserable to have to be around someone who isn’t cheerful when you don’t have a choice.
5. The cherry on top was someone who can play his hand help, DS Gameboy. But after going through 5 or 6 people and even trying one out for the past 2 months, I realize that there are other things more important than someone being able to play his game with him. What would be your cherry on top?
6. Someone who is confident and can learn fairly quickly.
7. Someone who will enjoy being a companion and friend to David and not just a babysitter. He enjoys doing a word search book with someone.
8. Of course someone you can trust in your home. I almost didn’t write that one down since it should go without saying.
I hope these are helpful to you or someone you know who find themselves in the position of finding a good caregiver.
Now, get out a sheet of paper and make your own list that takes into consideration the individual needs of your loved one.
And me? I’m starting over at square one since the morning caregiver we now have isn’t working out. But I know there is someone out there who will be a perfect fit for David.
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I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!
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