One unavoidable situation many Canadians face is having to care for an aging family member. It is even more challenging for people who have busy work schedules and a lot of engagements.
While guardians and family members need to ensure that their elder family members have the best of care, it can be quite stressful to do so and can impact work life, family life, as well as finances.
It is nearly overwhelming for working family members to do this alone, which is where hiring a caregiver to take care of the aging family member becomes necessary. Depending on the health and attention needs of the elder member of the family, you might need either a part-time or full-time caregiver. You also have to choose whether you’ll engage the services of a public or private caregiver for your senior.
What are your options? That’s the first question to ask when considering a caregiver for your senior.
- You can contact a private or government-owned caregiving company and find out how their caregiver operations run.
- You will find a number of caregivers who specialize in senior care and you can consider them when choosing a caregiver.
- Many of these agencies and concierges have different processes, so be ready to follow them to get a caregiver for your elderly family member.
Here’s a list of things to consider and discuss before choosing a caregiver in Canada.
- Qualifications and documents of the caregiver
The first, and perhaps, most important thing to confirm is the legal status of the caregiver to ensure that they are allowed to work in Canada. Also, confirm their provincial coverage and other related factors.
Then, you can talk about things like training and certification, including elder-care training certification and other specific training that’s particular to your family member’s needs. Confirm if they have first aid or CPR training.
If you’ll need the caregiver to drive, then confirm if they have a driver’s license.
Always ask for 3 or fewer references, and then agree on a trial period, which is usually between 1 and 3 months.
If everything checks out so far, discuss salary expectations and how the payments will be made.
- Discuss duties and expectations
What expectations do you have of the caregiver you want to hire? Will they be offering just care or companionship? Or will their responsibilities include respite care, nursing, bathing and feeding, medical care, etc?
Will you require the caregiver to take up additional duties like housekeeping, cooking, taking your loved one for appointments, and handling medications?
It is also important to discuss work hours and how much commitment you’ll require from the caregiver. Do you need a live-in or daily caregiver?
How far away or close is the caregiver from your home, and what is their transportation and movement like?
- Confirm caregiver’s availability
Will you need a caregiver who can come in sometimes during the holidays? Discuss it with a prospective caregiver and find out if they can make it.
Also, can the caregiver come in at a short notice when you call? And will you need a caregiver who is open to showing up when you need them? What are times when they cannot be on call?
Can the caregiver work extra hours if you’re working late or spend the night when you have overnight trips?
Will you be responsible for the caregiver’s lunch when they’re watching your elderly, or do they have to get their own meals? How will that affect their ability to care for your senior properly?
- Consider Personal attributes and personality traits
Now that we have all, or at least most of the requirements covered, the next step is to consider the character and personality traits of the caregiver and see whether they are compatible with your loved one or family.
What language skills do they have? Can they speak with your elderly family member easily and in a language they can understand?
Are the caregivers honest and dependable? Or do they seem like they could be dishonest?
Discussing with them and speaking to their references can help you judge this factor.
Is the caregiver professional in their approach and conversations? Are they compassionate and patient? Caring for the elderly is no small deal, so it will require a good deal of compassion for a caregiver to do a good job, especially when dealing with an elderly person with physical or mental issues.
Judge the caregiver’s sense of humor and positivity to see if they make a good fit for your elderly family member and your family members.
There’s quite a lot for you to consider, but it is all about choosing the candidate that ticks the most boxes and best suits your needs and expectations.
AyiConnect is a platform to connect families with helpers who have a language specialty in addition to care. You can engage with them directly through self service or concierge service. The concierge 1:1 service can provide another option to ensure success matches for busy families who don't have time to search or need language assist. Schedule a free consultation here for our concierge service, or check us out on ayiconnection.com