When I am welcomed into a home to discuss senior care, I realize that I could be the third or fourth person you have welcomed, given your family story to and asked the same questions to find out if I am the right fit. It can be time consuming and exhausting! But it must be done and you need to find the right company. But what if everyone is responding with generally the same answers and promises? How will you tell us apart and find the right one? I have found the most effective way is not for you to find the best company, but for me to find and train the best caregiver for you.
Clients are often surprised with my visit when I ask them or their loved one’s personal questions. Why am I going beyond the practical and physical aspects of the job? There are five reasons why I ask personal questions right away:
- The first being that we do not rotate any staff through. I work hard to ensure you are matched with someone that you will be completely comfortable with. Knowing your interests, hobbies, culture, religion and social desires will provide your care giver with a way to engage early on and “have your back” so to speak. And when I come to fill in, when they are on holidays, we will have already chatted and gotten to know each other!
- It is important for care aides to understand family dynamics and how they should participate. Even with the most professional attitude, the truth is that giving care to someone in their home is very personal. A care aide should know who is accessing the home and visiting, who is allowed personal information and who is not. Are there any family requests about care or safety that conflict with what the client wants? It helps us navigate our place in your home with the utmost respect.
- Your life experiences are important to us. We want to get to know you as a person.
- As we all age, our memory does not work as well as it once did. Our memories become more valuable. And if your loved one has been diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s, those long-term memories are key and play an even more important role. While day to day memories can be lost, we can connect with those long-term ones, play games they like, and talk about things they are interested in, which will let them know “Hey, they know me. They have my back.”
- And lastly, if I am not chosen first, I am usually called back within the first few weeks. Clients that hire other companies, after promises of highly trained, regular staff, unfortunately, usually receive a rotation of new hires that they need to retrain everyday. I decided we would be ready to serve our clients whenever they were ready.
These questions come from a pure passion to provide the best caregivers and personal service. I am sorry if this blog sounds a little too much like a commercial, however wouldn’t it be nice if all companies took an interest in their clients? I quickly learned that walking in with a “what can I do for you?” attitude is really uneducated. More often I find value and companionship that reciprocates both ways. My attitude now is a “how can we do this together?” attitude and part of that is getting to know you.
– Maureen Landucci