When a family decides to bring in home care, things change.
A transition to a senior living community means packing, consolidating, signing agreements, unpacking, settling in, and adjusting to a new routine and schedule, but bringing in home care is a similar process, minus the packing and unpacking.
You may not realize that there will be a period of adjustment for your senior loved one — and for your entire family — after a professional caregiver comes in. Besides the role change for the person who had been the primary caregiver until then, a total stranger is entering your family’s world. She won’t know your Grandma’s quirks or her favorite TV program right away. Unless you tell him, he won’t know how to make your Dad’s favorite meal or that he prefers a shower at night. To be successful, the caregiver needs support from the family, needs to know the quirks, preferences, and routines. That information may not come from your loved one, so it may be up to you to communicate it.
Sometimes the hardest part of entering into a home care arrangement is finding the best caregiver. Be patient through this process, and be particular, without being unrealistic, in your demands and expectations. It’s most important for the person receiving care to feel comfortable with the caregiver, so make sure they are involved in that process.