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Caregiver Hiring Tip: Set Expectations

Finding the right caregiver for an elderly relative can be a challenge. One of the best things that you can do before hiring someone is to spend a few minutes and write down all your expectations. At first, you may not think you have many. In all likelihood, though, you probably have quite a few; you just think they are obvious.  Nevertheless, writing them down is a good exercise.  Here are some topics to think about to see if you have an opinion on how a caregiver should behave:

  • How important is punctuality?  Most people do not like caregivers to be late, but is it OK if they come early?
  • Do you want you caregiver to be a quiet, but steadfast worker that really gets things done?   Or is it more important to you that the caregiver is very cheerful and engaging and spends more time talking to your loved one than doing actual chores?
  • Are you OK if the caregiver starts to pick up other tasks not asked of them?  Would you like this because they are going above and beyond, or would you get angry because they are not spending 100% of their time doing what you asked them to do?
  • If the elderly persons wants to watch TV, is it OK if the caregiver sits and watches TV with them?  Or do you want them to find something else to do?
  • Would you be upset if the caregiver is reading Facebook posts on his/her phone while your loved one is asleep?

Upon asking yourself these questions, you will likely determine that you have some opinions about what the caregiver should be doing when they are working.  For each of these opinions/expectations, it is important that you discuss them with the caregiver at the beginning.  Many caregivers are have a deep desire to please their client.  As such, if you let them know that it will take to please you, the odds of them meeting your expectations will increase.

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