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Finding the Right Respite Caregiver

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If you’ve spent any time caring for a loved one, you know care-taking can be a challenging and draining job. Most family caregivers reach a point when they realize they could use some help. When you find yourself struggling to keep up with the constant supervision and assistance with everyday activities that your loved one needs or the housekeeping routines and standard errands that accompany day-to-day life, it may be time to find a respite caregiver.

Respite caregivers offer additional support, allowing the primary caregiver a break from many of the hardships full-time caretaking produces. However, finding the right person can be scary and confusing for those who are new to the process.

Here are a few steps you need to take to find your ideal respite caregiver:

1. Assess your home care needs and preferences.
The first step to finding great respite care is assessing your home care needs and preferences. Home care can take a variety of forms – personal care, household care, health care, and emotional care. Deciding where you need help will aid you in refining your search. Are you looking for assistance with personal care like bathing, eating, and toileting or do you need someone with household care skills like cooking, cleaning, and laundry? Furthermore, what preferences does your loved one have regarding the gender, cultural background, and age of the caregiver?

2. Craft a thorough job description
Once you’ve accessed your needs and preference, take the time to write out a job description that clearly articulates the tasks you’re seeking help with. Be sure to include important factors like language skills, the ability to work specialized equipment, or any other special skills you’re seeking.

3. Locate Resources in Your Community
Many communities have local resources that can assist you in finding in-home care or will allow you to post your newly crafted job listing. Identify sources that you can utilize throughout your search and refer to them regularly.

4. Interview your applicants
While you don’t have to hold face-to-face interviews with every person who applies for the job, you should always screen the individuals under consideration. Make sure to offer a clear description of the job, discuss expectations from both sides (the applicant and the hirer), and include questions that give you a peek into how well the caregiver is likely to fit in within your home environment.

Following these few simple steps will help you find a responsible respite caregiver with minimal frustration. If the process still seems daunting and confusing, check out Abigael’s easy-to-understand guide, The Art of Finding the Right Giver. Her e-book guides readers through the entire process, from determining their needs and priorities to attracting, vetting and selecting caregiver candidates. She also includes helpful questions to ask during interviews and screening, sample documents to use and much more. She lays out the entire process for you, all you have to do is follow the steps!