How to Prepare for Your First Time with a Caregiver
Hiring a caregiver can be an exciting and often worry-filled experience. Many people feel more than a little strange about bringing a new person essentially into the family to help take care of you or a family member. Like any time when you’re about to meet someone new and introduce them to your life, it’s common to worry about seeming strange, untidy, or simply not hitting it off on the first day. Our first piece of advice is to relax. Caregivers are, by nature, friendly and understanding people who are used to stepping into situations that are less than ideal (otherwise you wouldn’t need a caregiver) and using a little of that Mary Poppins power to improve your circumstances.
That being said, if you have some extra time and energy to spend worrying about your first encounter or appointment with the new caregiver, there are several things you can do to optimize the service. With this small handful of tips, you can do a lot to make your caregiver feel welcome and help them hit the ground running regarding learning your preferences and building an enjoyable shared routine.
1) One Big Deep Clean
Caregivers are there to help you take care of yourself and your home. They are more than prepared to do light housework, the kind you would do on a daily basis like cooking, wiping down surfaces, and running laundry. However, they cannot be expected to do much deep cleaning or hauling of stuff. With this in mind, if your home (or the home of your senior relative) needs little extra care, consider inviting family over to help out with one big deep clean or hiring a single thorough cleaning from maid service to get your home back into an easy to maintain state. This way you and the caregiver can keep it sparkling together without any heavy lifting.
2) Make a List of Medications and Dietary Needs
Among the primary duties of a caregiver is making sure that their client takes all the right medications at the right times. The best way to help them with this task is to make it as easy as possible. Write a list of all your medications and the times they should be taken so that your caregiver knows precisely what they need to prepare each week and provide reminders for.
If you have any special dietary restrictions (or preferences), be sure to make a list of these as well so you and your caregiver can decide on a menu that you’ll enjoy and can eat safely.
3) Set Aside a Shelf or Cubby
Want to make your caregiver feel welcomed and appreciated from day one? Set aside a personal shelf, cubby, or a section of the hall tree to store their coat and personal items while working in your home. This simple gesture makes it clear that the caregiver will not be seen as an interloper and that you’re willing to make a little room in your life for someone who will be spending their days making your retirement more enjoyable. A handmade label for the shelf or cubby is a wonderful personal touch if you want to spend a little time on preparations.
4) Brainstorm Fun Activities
One of the most significant challenges of caregiving is thinking of fun and active things to do. Remembering that your caregiver can work with you at home or drive you to nearby destinations, think of a list of interesting and entertaining activities you could do together. Don’t be afraid to get a little fanciful; even unrealistic suggestions can lead to fun realistic adventures along the same lines.
5) Prepare a List of Questions
Finally, everyone has a few questions they want to ask their caregiver, but it can be awkward to try and find the right moment to do so, especially for personal issues. The best way to jump over this hurdle is to merely write another list, this time of all your questions, concerns, and worries about caregiving. Share this with your caregiver once the two of you have settled in and done a little getting to know each other. The list will ensure that nothing you wanted to know gets forgotten and your caregiver should be more than happy to answer as openly and assuringly as they can.
Inviting a caregiver into your home for the first time, or even meeting a new caregiver after a previous one moved on, can be a nervous experience.
Comfort Keepers in-home care can help you if you’re worried, anxious, or just want to make the best of your services. Use some of that nervous energy to prepare your home and yourself for a positive caregiving experience. For more information about caregiving or to find a caregiving service near you, contact us today at 877-698-9394.