With elderly parents at home, it’s heartbreaking to leave them alone while you have to go out for work or for other commitments. For some, it is even harder when they live abroad or in another city. Hence, not just to take care of your parents or grandparents, but to also provide them with a company, it is a good idea to appoint a caregiver.

But many people are clueless about how to appoint a caregiver for their older loved ones. The caregiver must be able to manage the needs of the older adult both physically and mentally.  Here we discuss what you must look for in a person you are potentially recruiting as a caregiver for your loved ones.

Types of caregivers:

Before you start looking for a caregiver for your loved ones, you must take into account what type of caregiver they would need. There are various types of caregivers to suit your needs. You could opt for a fulltime caregiver who stays with your loved ones 24/7 or a part-time caregiver who could come in for a specific duration of the day and help them with certain chores like cooking or laundry. If your loved ones require certain specific medical care, you could choose someone with experience in nursing.

  • Companions: Some caregivers are like companions to the older adults, who often are lonely and are prone to slip into depression. These companion caregivers provide a change to them by conversing or involving them in activities, keeping their minds and bodies busy.
  • Aides: Aides are usually more hands-on with the older adults. They have experience in bathing, cleaning, feeding and conducting other activities which the elderly might need help with. These caregivers may or may not be medically trained.
  • Medically-trained caregivers: The next category of caregivers are those who are medically trained to provide support to older adults who need medical attention. These conditions may include epileptic attacks, strokes, and heart disorders among other conditions. These caregivers are usually registered nurses having the requisite knowledge to monitor and treat major illnesses. They can also be opted when someone needs palliative care.

Tips to appoint a caregiver for your loved ones:

Here are some tips you can follow while appointing a caregiver for your older adults:

  1. Take the caregiver’s personality into account: Even if a potential caregiver has the best referrals and credentials, you need to check whether their personality matches with those of the older adults. Use your instinct and knowledge of the personality of your loved ones to judge whether the new person in your family will be able to gel with them. Also, try to ask a potential caregiver some questions about their personal preferences and hobbies to see if they have any common grounds with your loved ones.
  2. Check credentials and referrals: A caregiver must have a set of licenses and credentials in order to take care of older adults. Do not hesitate to ask for their licenses and know their expertise. Another important thing to do is ask for references. Do not be satisfied with what they say alone. Try to call up at least a couple of those references and talk to them about their own experiences.
  3. Sign an employee contract: Outline what your expectations from a caregiver are and list them out as a set of their duties. Details on their salary and other compensations, including leaves and alternate arrangements should be listed out clearly with no scope of ambiguity. You could also enlist expected work timings, privileges at home, bonuses and even a confidentiality clause, if you so require.
  4. Assess your needs: Does your loved one need someone to help them move around or bathe? Do they have an ailment like dementia or need dialysis on a regular basis? Do they need to visit the doctor at frequent intervals? Do they need their vitals monitored regularly? Can they manage at nights with no help? These and many other questions need to be considered before you go ahead with the appointment of a caregiver.

Appointing a caregiver is a sensitive and emotional decision. However, with a proper goal in mind, you can proceed with the process and bring peace of mind and happiness to both yourself and your older loved ones.


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