Managing Caregivers

Managing Caregivers

After you’ve found the best caregiver for you, you want to keep them happy and yourself happy too. Managing them the right way is key, and clear communication is critical to successfully managing them. Being polite, patient, and kind to your caregiver is also important, and this goes both ways. You and your caregiver should have a mutual respect toward one another.

One of the most important things about managing caregivers is not letting them walk over you. Remember, you’re the one in charge. If you let them, some PCAs only do what is necessary and then leave, so you need to manage them well to make sure you get the best possible care. Nobody cares more about you than you. It’s up to you to find and manage the best person for your situation.

Training
After you’ve found a caregiver, you will need to train them. You can have another caregiver on-staff help with training by setting up a “shadow” session. This makes it super easy for new caregivers to learn how everything is done, especially when it comes to learning transfers.

You also want to make sure you are clear from the very beginning about what the job expectations are; that way, your PCA will know exactly what is required of them. Again, being clear about your needs is huge.

Having a visible “Checklist” for new caregivers is a great idea. This ensures that everything you need is done before they leave. You don’t want to be stranded without anyone around to help. Additionally, some people don’t recommend becoming friends with your caregivers, but this depends on you two and your personalities. Usually though, it’s a good idea to keep things more professional; that way, if you do need to fire them, it won’t be difficult.

Always remember that being nice helps keep good caregivers around. A smile goes a long way, and please, avoid a demanding demeanor. Remember to say please and thank you whenever possible. All of this can help so much—it’s never a bad idea to be polite.

Takeaway Points

  • Clear communication is critical for managing caregivers
  • Let them know from the very beginning what the job expectations are
  • Don’t let caregivers take charge; remember you’re the boss
  • Set up a “shadow” session so your new caregiver can watch a current caregiver help you
  • Be as polite as possible

Helpful Links:

Caring for Caregivers (PDF) – UABSCIMS – http://www.uab.edu/medicine/sci/uab-scims-information/sci-infosheets

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