Finding a carer can be an extremely daunting, and overwhelming prospect. As a family member, you’re handing over your trust to another human being, and with so many variables as to who might be best for the job, it can cause quite the headache before the care package is even put in place.
So, what are the challenges relatives face when searching for a carer?
1. The Unknown
If you’re new to this process, entering into the unknown can be anxiety-inducing. You may quickly fill your head with a multitude of questions and concerns.
Of course, your loved one is probably also fearful of this.
Requiring someone to come into the home to help with small or large caring duties can be life-altering. While it will improve safety around the home and give everyone peace of mind, it may knock the confidence of your loved one as they may feel as though their independence is in jeopardy.
There may even be a certain amount of friction between family members if resistance to a care plan has built up.
2. Not Feeling in Control
Relatives who are seeking help from a carer may have reached a point where it’s no longer viable to take on such a demanding caring role. Emotions may be high during this time as family members may feel guilty, and panic when handing over their ‘duties’ to a stranger. During the infancy of the care plan, it can be hard to let go of control.
What if the carer isn’t as effective as you? After all, you know your loved one inside out. Personality, temperament, needs, routine; how will a stranger know better than you?
The truth is, no one will ever know your loved one like you do, and they may do things differently, but different can also be good when it comes to caring for someone who has specific needs.
The importance of personality should never be overlooked.
There’s little point in hiring someone who is loud and outgoing if your loved one prefers a softly spoken and reserved carer. Personality will also come into play when taking on caring duties whereby your family member may need a lot of encouragement, especially when mental illnesses such as Dementia are at play.
Hiring someone who is confident, good at giving direction, and has a patient nature will be crucial.
It’s also an added bonus if the carer shares similar interests. It may be a passion for cats, music, a TV show or activity. Possessing relatable qualities can help ease the tension, especially in the beginning stages and bring your loved one out of their shell.
4. Caring Nature
Suggesting that a carer should exhibit a caring nature may be pointing out the obvious, but there are professional carers who work for agencies whereby perhaps caring isn’t second nature to them. This may be true of those who aren’t as experienced or haven’t had the appropriate training.
Asking to view a carers work history will be a good indication of the variety of skills they’re equipped with. It’s likely that the more years experience the carer has, the more comfortable they’ll be in challenging situations.
Training, experience and skills are an extremely important part of being a professional carer, but instinct and initiative should never be overlooked. Training can only take a person so far, and as with any caring role, there is an element of unpredictability, so being able to think on your feet and take the lead in challenging situations is a must when caring.
6. Time Keeping
One of the biggest complaints with agency carers can be timekeeping. Routines are important and anything that may throw a spanner in the works can have a knock-on effect. This can leave people feeling as though their needs aren’t important. Aside from being late, many will turn up a lot earlier than planned to make dinner at inappropriate times or put your loved one to bed a lot earlier than they’d like.
It’s hard to build a bond with a carer if you’re seeing different faces every day. Staff turn over within agencies can be high, which may lead to your loved one seeing someone different almost every day of the week. This can be particularly stressful for the family as they may never know who’s in the home. Familiarity will keep everyone relaxed, knowing that their loved one is being looked after by a consistent set of people.
Developing a familiar bond with a carer is crucial to a feeling of security, and ease.
You’ll want someone who will develop a rapport and maintain a relationship. This builds trust and if there’s any resistance from your loved one, it may help soften and nurture the process, rather than it feeling like an intrusion of privacy and independence.
Super Carers are shaking up the industry, and have introduced, a personalised digital platform to find the perfect carer for your loved one. It’s cheaper on average than usual agencies, and it ensures that the carer is rewarded fairly. For peace of mind, the vetting process is extremely thorough.
Visit their website here to learn more and see if they can help you and your family.