Our caregiver starts next week, how should we prepare?
It is important to take a fresh look around your home while considering it as a workplace. Though a home is not a standard work environment, safety and convenience should be a priority. Here are a few pointers to help you to prepare.
Home Environment Safety
Take a fresh objective look around your home. Are walkways clear? Remove any tripping hazards such as loose throw rugs, extension cords, etc. Is the furniture positioned so that assistance can be easily provided? You may need to create space for the caregiver to perform their duties by adjusting the arrangement.
Caregivers require some basic supplies when performing personal care. This includes things like antiseptic wipes, soap and gloves for infection control. Supplies should be readily accessible where they will be needed. Many companies supply their workers with these items. Speak with your home care agency before purchasing.
Determine if any medical equipment is needed to make tasks safer and simpler for everyone. Items such as a shower chair and/or a hand-held shower nozzle are common additions. Your caregiver may have other suggestions and/or assist with obtaining appropriate items, once they begin.
Basic Amenities for the Caregiver
While in your home, your caregiver should have some basic amenities. Such items include, use of a bathroom with privacy, water to drink, tissues, toilet paper, and a place to sit when needed if they are present for any length of time. You are not expected to provide luxuries, meals, or go out of your way while a caregiver is in your home.
Your pets can be a workplace hazard to a caregiver. Even calm, friendly dogs or cats may be wary of a new arrival in your home. Be proactive. Safely lock your pet away when a new caregiver arrives. Allow your pet to become familiar from a safe space. After discussion with the caregiver, introduce them slowly and with care. With the right introduction, your furry friends will come to recognize your caregiver and be comfortable with your new routines.
Specific Care Plan
Your home care agency should provide a thorough plan of care for your caregiver to follow. Be sure to communicate any likes, dislikes or expectations you may have with the home care agency. Being open about your needs will increase the chances of a successful match with your worker.
Nancy Austin, Director accessAbilities Home & Community Services
- Chapman University, Orange, CA graduate
- Experience includes 18 years in long-term care; advocate for Independence and Quality
of Life for individuals with disabilities by maintaining a strong focus on the provision of care.