How to Win Friends and Influence Your Caregiver
I provided childcare for several families in my teen years. You know the families I fondly remember whose jobs I NEVER turned down? They weren’t necessarily the ones who paid the most or lived closest to me. The parents gave me guidance and were prepared. They set expectations and told me what I need to know about their children and home.
The parents didn’t just say “make her dinner”, but had a specific meal and snack options planned. They explained any rules or limits. They told me about games, movies, and hobbies the child(ren) liked and showed me where things were. I could focus on providing great childcare…they set me up to succeed. They showed they respected and valued me. With that, they won my loyalty.
Caregiving is not babysitting, but this concept holds true for any job. A caregiver/employee wants to be prepared to do the best job he or she can. Have you ever started a job where there’s absolutely no orientation or training…no one even tells you where the coffee or bathroom is? Just a little preparation and guidance can make all the difference.
What You Can Do to Win Friends and Influence Your Caregiver
- Introduce them to the client. Not just, “This is Bob”. Who is Bob? What did he do for a living? Is he a Vet? What does he like to do? What are his favorite things to talk about?
- Share likes and dislikes. Taking care of you and your home is very personal. Everyone likes things done differently and has different preferences. A caregiver can’t read your mind, so tell them how you expect things to be done and what you like/dislike.
- Offer constructive criticism. There’s nothing worse than a caregiver or company losing a client, only to find out there was some issue they never knew about. If you feel awkward discussing this directly with the caregiver, talk to the supervisor. Sometimes it’s as simple as changing the care plan and providing specific directions.
- Offer positive feedback too. If the caregiver is doing something you like or does a great job, “thanks” goes a long way. But, even better…tell their supervisor/management. Home care companies typically have a policy against caregivers accepting gifts, but this is the BEST GIFT you can give.
The Role of the Home Care Company
The company you hire plays a vital role in this. When deciding on a home care company, it’s important to know how they prepare their caregivers. Do they provide orientation and ongoing training? Do they supervise caregivers and coach them on ways to improve? How do they communicate what the client wants and needs? Do they ask you (client/family) about your background and preferences? How does the company reward and reinforce great caregiving?