It’s easy to see commonalities in what clients want from an in home caregiver in just a few words. Below you’ll find snippets of real EasyLiving client feedback taken from our third-party quality assurance surveys. We use this feedback to improve, modify processes, hire the right caregivers and more. We’ll also share some tips on how you can get what you want from your in home caregiver.
The first two areas, caregiver ability and compassion, feature most prominently in client feedback. They’re two areas we focus on a lot at EasyLiving and therefore show up as our top caregiver strengths. We’ll offer some insight into how we find and cultivate these strengths so you can get what you want (and need) from your caregiver.
Ability: An In Home Caregiver with the Right Skills
“My mom is completely paralyzed and the caregiver is skilled in getting her to the chair. I feel confident in her abilities and Mom’s safety.”
“They help me with my pills, my infusions, my showers, and with taking care of the house and my meals. Everything is done competently.”
“She gives outstanding bed baths and takes care of the needs my wife has. She gives daily baths, she washes the clothes, vacuums, and does light housekeeping. I like her expertise and the comfort she provides.”
“The caregiver knows what to do and they have adapted well to my care.”
“They’re very efficient, they know what they’re supposed to do, and they do it.”
How to Get a Skilled In Home Caregiver
We start with a stringent hiring process. Because there’s a high demand, we need a strong recruiting program. We won’t hire just anyone, so we have to constantly focus on attracting quality candidates. This is also done by treating our employees well so they act as our ambassadors with other potential caregivers.
Next, no matter how stringent the hiring process we also spend time on orientation and ongoing training. We have several layers of ensuring caregivers’ skills are up to par. First, we provide a professionally-designed orientation program. Next, we provide onsite/ongoing supervision, attending initial client meetings, seeking feedback proactively and making occasional home visits. And, we provide free access to an online, mobile-accessible training academy for caregivers to stay up-to-date. This makes it easy for caregivers to maintain core skills and we ensure they meet all state requirements. Additionally, our supervisory team looks closely at feedback we seek from clients for areas that might need extra attention. Finally, our staffing team works to match caregivers’ skills and strengths to client needs.
Find out about how any agency you’re considering handles hiring and training. Make sure the tasks and needs are explicitly laid out in a careplan. This helps in matching the caregiver and provides them a roadmap when caring for you.
Unfortunately, if you hire someone privately it may be difficult to know about their skills until it’s too late. You can ask for references and past experience, but skill can be hard to assess. And, there won’t be any training or supervision so you’ll have to handle any issues on your own.
A Compassionate In Home Caregiver
“They go above and beyond. They show they care by being eager to please and help.”
“She talks to me and asks how I am doing.”
“She holds my wife’s hand and comforts her.”
“They are very caring and always wants to know if they’re doing things right.”
“She has patience in doing things. She takes the time to make sure I understand what is going on.”
“She feels like family to me and we get along very well.”
“He makes us feel very comfortable and at ease as if I was talking to a friend.”
“She is very attentive to my mom’s needs.”
“I appreciate the initiative, thoroughness and compassion of the caregivers.”
Providing in-home care requires more than just skill. The caregiver must be attuned to the client and help them feel comfortable having someone in their home. The job requires empathy and patience. Each client may have different ways of doing things. Getting along is more essential than in possibly any other service job.
Finding & Supporting Compassionate Caregivers
Most people who get into caregiving do so because they care for elders. They’ve often been inspired by personal experiences. They tend to have a caring nature. We not only test for skills but use screening tools to find the right mix of values and personal qualities.
Also, remember that working with an in home caregiver is a two way street. Check out Five Simple Etiquette Rules for Having a Caregiver in Your Home.
It’s important to consider the things caregivers want in their work. As a home care agency, we’re responsible for providing the support structure. We don’t want our caregivers to go into your home unprepared or frustrated. Caregivers have kind hearts and want to do their best. But, caregiving can be a tough job. We can help ensure caregivers don’t encounter unnecessary challenges or burn out by providing the tools they need.
Timeliness, Communication, Initiative, Following Direction
“Our caregiver will go the extra mile for me. I never hear her complain, and she gets here on time. She calls when she gets to the community so that I can get my pets away. My animals love her, and she treats them really nice.”
“There isn’t anything they can do to improve because if I see something I need done, I can ask, and she will do it. She keeps on top of things and lets us know if we need supplies.”
“I appreciate the initiative, thoroughness and compassion of the caregivers.”
“Our caregiver is always on time. She let us know in advance one day when she had to come a bit late.”
“She always confirms the next visit and checks on any appointments we have. The agency has helped when we needed to switch times.”
“They call me ahead of time to keep me updated.”
“They’ve been thorough, and they follow-up with us.”
The Not-So-Little-Things That Make an In Home Caregiver Successful
If your caregiver doesn’t show up on time, it can be more than an annoyance. Many elders rely on their caregivers to handle certain tasks, so reliability and communication become essential. These are qualities we look for in hiring. They’re also part of our performance evaluation and caregiver coaching.
Clients often worry about “entertaining” someone in the home, or providing instruction and feedback. A quality home care agency will make sure the caregiver is prepared. The care plan tells them the tasks that need to be done. More importantly, it can provide guidance about how things should be done.
Communication also falls to the office staff. At EasyLiving, we’ve focused on putting systems into place to manage client care so things go smoothly for client and caregiver. We need to be on top of letting clients know what’s happening with scheduling and changes. Additionally, we don’t wait to hear from clients about a problem. Rather, we seek feedback so we can troubleshoot before something minor becomes something major.
No agency or caregiver is perfect. But, most clients understand that and don’t expect perfection. They want competent and compassionate helpers who are reliable. Clients want an agency that who communicates and deals with any issues effectively. We get plenty of constructive criticism from clients. And, just like a caregiver should be a good listener and willing to learn, we must do the same. Sometimes we get it right, sometimes we need to improve. But, hearing feedback like this makes us proud of our team’s hard work:
“What is one thing Easy Living could do to improve our satisfaction with their services? They could send miracle workers. They are already doing pretty much that.”
We’d love to hear what you want from an in-home caregiver. Join us on Facebook to share your experiences and comments. We also run the Caregivers Support Community and welcome you to join!