When you or a loved one falls ill or gets injured, you may need extra medical care or help around the home. That’s where an in-home caregiver can help.
Finding a good caregiver isn’t always easy unless you know what qualities of a caregiver to look for. In this article, we’re sharing the essential skills your caregiver should have:
Above all else, you must check their skills, certifications, education, and experience to ensure they can provide the best care you need. For example, if you need a caregiver to provide a particular skill or level of care, ensure they are trained and have experience in that area.
Make sure any health care certifications (like first aid or CPR) are up-to-date. You can also ask for a summary of their work experience and places of employment to get a sense of the type of work they’ve done and the patients they’ve worked with.
When hiring from an at-home care agency like Hero Health Care, you’re likely to get more qualified caregivers than if you hired a “freelance” home aide. At Hero Health Care, all home care staff are employees. They undergo a rigorous screening process, criminal record check, and personality testing to ensure their skills and attitude is up to our high service standards.
Occasionally, the person needing care needs physical support from their caregiver to move around the home with assistance. If your in-home caregiver needs to carry or physically support the patient, ask about your caregivers physical capabilities too. If the home care aid is petite, they may not be able to lift a patient off the toilet, out of the bathtub, or in/out of bed safely. If you are uncertain, ask about their physical capabilities. Looks can be deceiving. Many petite-framed people can be hiding incredible strength.
If your caregiver is being hired to help with chores around the home, but they are shorter and can’t reach the top shelf, they may not be the best fit. It’s not inappropriate to ask about the physical abilities of your caregiver when interviewing them.
The public healthcare system has a bad reputation for treating patients as fast as possible so they can treat as many people as possible. This is NOT a quality you want in your hired in-home caregiver. You want someone who will practice patience, especially when caring for the elderly and those with other health challenges.
Your caregiver should demonstrate a calm, friendly demeanour when you interview them. Sometimes, you can ask for testimonials from past patients to better understand your home care aides’ bedside manner.
Patience is a necessary caregiver quality you must insist on as it helps the patient feel safe and acknowledged.
Choose a caregiver with good communication skills. They must know how to overcome communication barriers and be their client’s best advocate. Sometimes, the person requiring care may be frustrated or angry. Communicating with a person in a frustrated state requires a unique skill set, so if this applies to you, be sure to talk about this with a prospective caregiver.
Ask about their experience communicating with patients who require extra hand-holding, if it applies to you. This may be someone with a unique need (due to age or ability) or who needs extra help understanding and staying informed by their healthcare team.
The caregiver should also show that they can communicate effectively with their patient’s family and loved ones.
A good in-home caregiver is someone who is compassionate without being condescending. Accepting help in your home may be a big step for you or your loved one, so you want a caregiver who will walk this journey with you compassionately, not judgmentally. Ask the caregiver to share stories about how they’ve practiced compassion and empathy with past patients.
Remember that due to patient confidentiality and privacy, the caregiver can’t specifically reference any past patients unless it’s done anonymously with no obviously identifying facts shared.
One of the great benefits of an in-home caregiver is that they provide consistency and routine. This is something that those under immense stress and uncertainty appreciate. Routine is also appreciated by many elderly patients.
It’s also important for your caregiver to be understanding and flexible when changes are needed. For example, you may have hired a home nurse aide to help your elderly mother around the house and remind her to take her pills. If your mother slips and falls and is in a wheelchair, the caregiver needs to have experience adjusting routines accordingly.
This may require amending the provided services or changing medication schedules (as per the patient’s doctor). Health is an evolving situation, so having a home care aide or nurse who is flexible to the changing needs or schedules will save you from having to hire new in-home support in the future.
At Hero Home Care, all caregivers are employees (not contractors or freelancers) of the company. They have been put through a detailed screening process to ensure they are the right fit for potential clients like you and your loved ones.
Getting started is a 3-step process:
- Call us: We can answer any initial questions you may have about hiring an in-home caregiver.
- In-home consult: A local care manager will visit you or your loved one in their home to meet you and do a patient assessment to better understand your needs.
- Meet your hero: Based on your needs and the patient’s personality, we’ll match you with a caregiver from our staff.
You can hire a caregiver for a few hours a week to 24 hours a day. Hero Home care offers many services, including companionship, homemaking, nursing care, medication management, and end-of-life care. All done in the comfort and privacy of your home. There is no charge for this assessment visit, and your details and assessment remain confidential (just between you and Home Care Hero).
Ready to book an in-home consult and get matched with the perfect caregiver? You’re just a few steps away from living a more independent, happier life at home with support from Hero Home care.