3 Ways to Choose an Elderly Caregiver

1. Look for a Certified Caregiver

A certified caregiver will know how to deal with medications, recognize signs of a health-related emergency and monitor vital signs. A certified elderly caregiver is also experienced in more personal issues, such as knowing how to give a sponge bath and how to deal with digestive issues, such as nasogastric feeding. First-aid skill can also provide peace of mind for both the patient and the family.

Caregiver certification may take from 1 weekend to 6 months to complete, depending on the type of classes. Always ask for details from the caregiver to make sure he’s qualified.

2. Choose a Compassionate Person

A good elderly caregiver genuinely cares for the people he helps. Since many caregivers spend months or even years dealing with just one or two people full time, it’s understandable that they often grow attached to them. In fact, a caregiver who doesn’t speak affectionately of his patients may not be the person you want to take over your responsibilities. On the other hand, you don’t want an overly emotional person who cannot be firm. Some elderly patients may refuse to take their medications or do their physical therapy exercises, in which case the push of a strong caregiver is essential.

3. Pay Attention to Body Strength

Some elderly people can move well and just need some general help moving, getting up or performing daily activities, in which case most caregivers can perform the task well. On the other hand, an elderly person who cannot move at all and needs to be transported on and off the bed, into a wheelchair or to the bathroom, requires a particularly strong person. As you interview potential workers, let them know exactly what type of tasks they would need to perform, so you can weed out the ones who don’t fit the profile.