Certain life situations leave individuals unable to care for themselves properly. These situations may be an illness like cancer, disability, the aftereffects of an accident, or giving birth. This gives rise to the need for someone to care for you or your loved ones for an extended time in case of difficult times. Hiring a personal care aide or aide isn’t a decision you need to make in haste. Careful consideration is needed when working with a personal care aide.
Hiring a personal care aide can be done via medical care agencies or by placing advertisements stating that you are searching for someone with health care experience.
When hiring a personal care aide, you must ensure you get the best candidate because they’ll need to take on difficult tasks and responsibilities. Some of the duties a personal care aide may need to perform include housekeeping, grocery shopping, cooking, bathing, grooming, dressing, and others.
What Qualities To Look For When Working With A Personal Care Aide
When hiring a personal care aide for yourself or your loved one, you must ensure they possess certain qualities that’ll help them do a superb job in providing the best care possible. These characteristics include:
- They Must Have Some Form Of Qualification In Providing Care
A care aide must have gone through formal training in providing professional care. Depending on the patient’s medical condition, a care aide would need to be familiar with it to provide the best care possible.
For example, a student just finishing a bachelor’s degree in biology may not understand the complexity of certain drugs and the order they need to give them to a patient.
A care aide can be a resident nurse who wants to specialize in health care or who has undergone PCA training. They could also be a part-time doctor or specialized physician. Having a background on the medical field is a great plus for a care aide, as they can better understand the ailments your loved one has and can understand what’s being said during a doctor’s appointment when they’re accompanying them.
Experience is essential with a personal care aide too. The more they see and learn, the better they’ll care for their patients. It’d also come in handy in emergencies, as they’d be able to react as quickly as possible and give your loved one the necessary life-sustaining treatment pending the professional administration of comprehensive care.
- They Need To Be Good At Communication
You and your family must rely on the care aide to communicate on behalf of your loved one. They’d need to be able to pass on information as detailed as possible, as everything that concerns their health is vital. They’ll need to communicate with the doctor, giving updates on any changes that may have happened between visits and being able to receive feedback so they can take better care of the patients.
The care aide would spend a lot of time with your loved one, and they must be able to engage with them in conversations. Your loved one needs to feel heard, not ignored or overlooked. Any communication breakdown would have negative consequences.
The personal care aide acts as a companion to your loved one and a bridge to the rest of the family as well. They must be able to update everyone on any minor changes they notice because these are important in maintaining good health.
Care aides also need to pick up on nonverbal cues. These include changes in mood, appetite, or lack of response to a trigger.
- A Care Aide Needs To Be Empathic
Patience and empathy go a long way when caring for someone sick. Taking care of someone who has a health issue is a challenging responsibility to take on.
When hiring a care aide to care for your loved ones, you need someone warm and caring. They must show outstanding care, compassion, and patience toward their patients. The aide must encourage, motivate, and even sit with your loved one when everything isn’t going well. Any dismissive attitude shown by the care aide may cause distress and worsen health issues.
Your aide would need to be emotionally involved and connected with the patient. It’s vital to find someone who knows how to maintain their emotions and take charge of situations.
One way to determine if a care aide is empathic is to talk to them about their previous experiences and how they handled any problematic situations that arose with people they have cared for previously. It’d be best if you carried out extensive background checks on the individual before hiring them to ensure they don’t have a criminal record or have any issues with anger. Seniors with special needs require someone who is extremely calm and patient. A care worker who is warm, caring, and welcoming would help your loved one feel much better despite their health issues.
A care aide would strongly impact your loved one in their care, as this is who they would spend the most time with. Therefore, hiring someone positive and helpful is necessary, as they’d influence the energy in the house.
- They Must Pay Attention To The Details
Between requiring special meals and having to take certain medications at precise times, there are many details a personal care aide must monitor to ensure your loved one is doing fine. You need a care aide who pays attention to everything around them. The aide needs to be able to notice anything abnormal and report any health developments that might occur.
They’d have to give the correct medication at the specified time. There’s no room for error, which could lead to further health issues. It’d help if you had someone efficient and organized. All the small details matter, and they can’t ignore them.
In addition, the aide must be able to keep up with meal presentations and remember any allergies. This is vital, as any mistakes in meal prep can be fatal.
You can get a better feel on the personal care aide’s attention to details by engaging in a conversation with them about how they treated their previous patients and how paying attention to critical details led to health improvements.
- They Must Be Physically Fit
There are numerous aspects when it comes to caring for someone. You must meet with doctor’s appointments, go shopping for groceries, cook meals, do housework, bathe, and groom yourself. It’d be best to have an aide who’s quick on their feet and can keep up with all of the physical stress entailing providing top-notch care. The personal care aide might need to assist with walking or carrying your loved one from one place to another too.
Your care worker must exercise with your loved ones to keep them fit. This would greatly help lift their spirits and keep them in good shape. The aid would act as a makeshift trainer and must be able to keep up with the physical routines while still completing the other necessary tasks.
- The Personal Care Aide Must Be Willing To Go The Extra Mile
The best care aides know they’re responsible for providing the best care for their patients. They must be able to think quickly in emergencies.
A personal care aide must stay calm when the patients feel sad or argumentative. Furthermore, they need to adapt to whatever scenarios they’re faced with and find ways to make their patients feel better. This can be making them their favorite tea or engaging them in activities that calm them down, like painting or knitting.
Care workers need to provide support and care despite the patient’s feelings. Getting a care aide determined to put your loved one’s best interests first is a big win. This includes making them feel safe during a time when they’re extremely vulnerable. The care aide would be the person your loved one relies on most, so getting someone reliable and patient is crucial.
A calm aura is needed to deal with a loved one who may have dementia. A care aide has to be comfortable being asked the same question repeatedly and not get upset or make the patient feel like a burden. They must guide your loved one on various activities that require patience. It’d not be helpful to work with someone who’s short-tempered or gets frustrated easily.
It’s essential to pick a healthcare worker whose expertise and experience meet the requirements and needs of your loved one with a health issue. Your loved one needs a good fit to help them manage external stressors that might further worsen their health.
When picking a personal care aide, involving your loved one in the interview process will give them a sense of control and give you a chance to see how they connect with their future care aide to be. Trusting anyone with the health of a loved one is a big thing, so it’s important to find someone who’s efficient, caring, and willing to go the extra mile to provide the best care possible.