As the new year turns so too does people’s lives. New beginnings for everyone however for some not always the changes they had anticipated, like having to have Home Care when you were once independent. Last year I had the pleasure of meeting a family we had taken over the care from a previous Home Care agency. They had so many concerns and kept asking to meet with me and I couldn’t understand why? I thought to myself “Why “is it so important them meet me? Mistakenly I just presumed that every agency operated in the same way that our agency does. The family came and sat with us because we were so different to the previous agency, they had hired which brought up many questions for the family. It was important to the family to understand how the company they just hired worked and how we would work for them. It was truly refreshing to meet with the family and to listen to their concerns and amazing questions regarding care. Here are the questions the family wanted to know and understand, and I want to thank them for being so transparent and honest with me regarding their questions. I learned so much myself form meeting with them.
One of the question was “ Why cant we call the caregiver directly on her cell phone “ Reasons: because we are the agent for both you and the caregiver and if you change a schedule directly with the caregiver and she does not tell us then you don’t get billed and neither does the care giver get paid for that time , to which she/he may quit and the company has no documentation to substantiate what you are both saying for those extra hours. Hence a lot of issues surface in this instance and we, as a company may even lose the caregiver as she/he is upset the hours were not paid for on the week they expected it.
On a recent visit to this new families home the client was very candid with me and shared her worries about changing from one company to another and her expectations. She simply stated “I want and honest caregiver” a person who will respect me and be dignified in the care they deliver. I want the caregiver to understand who I am and what goes on in my life? I want some recognition on my life as I was born in 1928 and have seen a lot. I would like my caregiver to interact and for the caregiver to be normal. No pretense or being fake? I would like her/him to be attentive to my needs, but I would also like my privacy when the caregiver is here. I would like to understand the caregiver too without going beyond personal boundaries. I would like my care giver to be natural. My expectations would be that the caregiver be honest, and I would like normality and if the caregiver would be able to cook, even perhaps iron and do a little housekeeping that would be great.
This interview blew me away as “Mary “was not looking for much just the basics. As an agency we hire for heart, and Compassion is something we can’t teach you, you either have it or you don’t. Honesty, and a genuine love for seniors is also a mandatory requirement. Why? because you must want to conversate with the seniors we serve and most importantly be able to understand the era in which there grew up in in order to be successful. Everyone is an individual who needs and desires to be treated equal, with respect, and dignity. How very simple and something we all need to keep in the for front of our minds daily when caring for the frail and elderly.
Happy new year to all, may it be a blessed one with health and happiness.