We put trust, instinct, and compassion front and center when hiring caregivers to take exceptional care of our elderly clients.
How we find our caregivers
I really prefer finding new caregivers through word-of-mouth recommendations. Reading applications from strangers might make sense for corporate America, but it never made much sense to me. In my opinion, the best way to begin vetting a caregiver is to get an introduction through someone I already know and trust. In our company, trust is everything because of our elderly clients and the responsibility I personally feel toward each and every one of them. For me, the process of hiring the right caregiver begins with an introduction, but this is only the first step.
What we look for in a caregiver
Once we have that introduction, we look for a few things that other agencies don’t care about. There is so much that goes into recognizing a talented caregiver. I like to think that I have a sixth sense about people and that I’ve developed these deep instincts based upon my many years of being a nurse and a mother. But whatever the reason, the formula I use is very simple.
It begins and ends with compassion! They must live for that feeling that comes from the heart when they are able to help someone.
How we know when someone will be a great caregiver
It may sound matter-of-fact, but I have only one purpose. I must make the best possible match between a caregiver and a client. Period! My caregivers, like all humans, are completely different from one another but I need to know that they possess certain positive qualities right upfront.
To make the first cut, they need to be:
highly compassionate by nature
trustworthy and capable of trusting in return
passionate about this kind of work with a high level of energy to do it well.
These are the traits all our caregivers have in common. Beyond this, I do appreciate different personalities. Our elderly clients are all so different from one another, so it follows that we must have variety in our caregivers in order to facilitate successful matches.
For example, some of our clients love good conversation and we may hire someone with a breadth of knowledge to keep that person engaged. Another client may just want to be left on their own to read or think. We might match that person with someone quiet and respectful of this kind of cerebral behavior.
The variables are endless but when I “feel” a match, I am almost always right. When hiring the right caregiver, great matches start with good options.
How we ensure a caregiver is matched well with a client
After hiring the right caregiver and putting him or her on the case, I always check in with everyone on day one. This includes the client’s family, the client, and the caregiver. Checking in separately is important because it allows everyone to ask questions and make their feelings known without feeling judged or hurting someone else’s feelings.
“How are things going with Mom and with the caregiver?” is a simple question to start the conversation. If all is good and the answers match, I know we are off to a great start. I will routinely check in again a few more times that week. although I always give the family and the caregiver my text number just in case they need to reach me in between.
On the other hand, I don’t like to micromanage for a few reasons. Letting a family bond with a new caregiver without interference is important to the success of the match. I want them to get to know each other and I do know from lots of experience when to step in and when to step out. Bonding is the last piece of my hiring process and very important!
Family experience is the best experience
I like hiring caregivers who have raised a family of their own. Only the head of a household will know how to run someone else’s household. Everything from keeping paper towels in stock, to knowing when the garbage gets picked up, to where the circuit breakers are located is more important than a formal education. I seek out people with common sense because, in a pinch, this kind of thinking will make all the difference.
I have said it before and I will say it again. It begins and ends with compassion!
If you are in the process of trying to figure it all out and find the best caregivers for a loved one, I want to help you.
Whether your concerns are COVID-based, financial, logistical, or just the unknown, we can answer all of your questions and put your mind at ease. Hiring the right caregivers is only the beginning, so next month, I will discuss the practical training and ongoing education of our hand-selected caregiver team.Until then, please know that we are here for you if you have any questions about how our home care can help an aging family member or loved one.