There comes a time when families need a break from the day-to-day demands of caring for their loved one. This is where a respite caregiver can step in and provide you with some relief. Of course, you want to ensure that your loved one is receiving the highest quality of care, and that if any issues were to arise, the caregiver would know how to handle them.
Private caregivers come in many forms. Some are volunteers, others work at adult day care centers and others are supplied by an agency. Even though it can be difficult to leave a loved one in someone else’s care, the break that is given to the regular caregiver is invaluable.
Here are ten things that your private caregiver should know about your loved one.
1. The caregiver should understand all instructions. Have the instructions written out, and ask the caregiver if they need clarification on any of the steps.
2. The caregiver should know how to handle an emergency. Review emergency procedures, including exit plans, and discuss 911 preferences.
3. The caregiver should know the mobility of your loved one. Does your family member use a cane? A wheelchair? A walker?
4. The caregiver should know if your loved one can move around unassisted. Does your family member require help getting in and out bed? Do they need repositioning? Can they move from the bed to the chair without help?
5. The caregiver should be familiar with your loved one’s medical equipment. Many elders require equipment such as hearing aides, catheters, dentures, dressings and so on. Make sure the caregiver is aware of these supplies and how to use them.
6. The caregiver should know if your loved one requires help using the restroom. Some elders need a helping hand to the bathroom, while others use catheters, bed pans or incontinence pads.
7. The caregiver should know if your loved one needs help bathing. Does your family member need help getting into the shower? Do they have a chair in the shower or bars to hold onto? How often does your loved one need a bath?
8. The caregiver should be familiar with your loved one’s meal schedule. How often do they eat? What types of foods can they eat? Are any foods off limits?
9. The caregiver should know what your loved one’s sleep habits are. How often do they sleep? Where do they sleep? What does the room have to be like in terms of temperature and darkness?
10. The caregiver should understand what the house rules are. What is your policy regarding visitors? Do you have pets? Do you have locks and alarms on the doors?
Do not wait until an emergency occurs to address these issues. A private caregiver may only be staying for a short time, but a lot can happen in an hour or two. Make sure you provide your caregiver with all of the details so that your loved one’s needs can be handled with ease.