Questions to ask a prospective caregiver

KateEmerson

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Karen,

It sounds like you hit the jackpot! I am so happy for you and your partner that you found someone who has worked with PALS AND knows other caregivers with experience. Kate
 

affected

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I've got everything crossed for you Karen. We had some awesome paid carers and I've remained good friends with one of them.

Now some tips for you - always make sure your CALS welcomes the person warmly.
I had a communications book - just a blank book and I would write in it anything significant that happened overnight or any changes in progression. (you and I can think of it like nursing notes - date, name and notes)
Each staff member had to read it on arrival and write at least a short note at the end of the shift. Keep a jar with quality lollies in it beside the book with a label - please enjoy whenever you need a lift. (or something similar and pithy)

They also had a chart to note what peg feeds he had and fluids, but this is because he was notorious for refusing feeds and fluids, but then saying he had them (FTD is a barrel of fun). So that really helped all of us as some days when I had my full day out there could be 2 caregivers doing a shift each so it always meant we had a handover.

I also had a plastic sleeve folder with instructions and locations of household items, and I used lots of photos. As things changed I could just change a single page.
This was particularly important for us because Chris could not speak, so it meant staff did not have to keep asking me things. Staff could easily train each other with this, and as we had several different staff, and some of them only came weekly it really helped them. Our staff were working full time and caring for several different people each day as they may do anything from 1 - 4 hours at each home. So remembering all the bits when you come weekly was difficult!

All our staff remarked to me after Chris died that coming to our house felt like coming to visit a friend, not like coming to work. They found the extra effort to keep them informed made a huge difference and allowed them to feel they were a part of the situation, not just someone coming in for a shift.

Pick and use anything from that which may apply :)
 

blitzc

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Just a thought after reading so much offered here...Could this information be compiled /organized into lists?
  • Things to look for in background/experience
  • Questions during interview
  • Ways to verify past experience
  • Other tips for hiring process
  • Things to make their job easier (i.e. notebook, instructions folder as mentioned by Tillie above)
Is anyone willing to make a document for PALS/CALS? Our CALS are already too overwhelmed and need to make every job like this as easy as possible. Every new challenge with us makes a monumental challenge for them.
 

KarenNWendyn

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Cathy, that’s a great idea but a lot for one person to take on. I personally don’t have the energy to do it all, but would be happy to help. Perhaps it could be a collaborative effort?

We could start with the ideas already put forth in this thread, perhaps add a few more, and then assemble them into the document you have outlined. Once we have that information, I can figure out how to make it a sticky.

So we can start by seeing if anyone else has information to add to what has already been stated in this thread. You can post it in this thread.
 

blitzc

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I personally don’t have the energy to do it all, but would be happy to help.
That's exactly how I feel. My hands get so tired /sore from typing. However willing to help. I know my family could really use an easy to navigate document.
 

affected

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I'm happy to compile what we get in here and then make a draft to check over and ending up as a sticky is a great idea!
 

KimT

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One of the things I've already done for myself is made a list of my medication and supplements. I included when I take them. I made a list of my doctors and how often I see each of them, their contact numbers and addresses.

In my case I'm going to have to find someone I know and trust to do my finances. Fred has my POA but I basically do all the finances for both of us. He has a doctorate but managing money isn't his thing.

I really believe each worker should be given a job description right away. It doesn't have to be formal but it should really include all the PALS expectations now and down the road. I also think it's important to find out if they're flexible in the number of hours they are willing to work.

Karen, I think you really lucked out in finding someone with experience who knows others with experience.
 

lgelb

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I would be happy to draft a "finding/hiring/training/supervising caregivers" cheat sheet from all the input here.

And I'll second that personal connections are a great tool, so if you are looking, tell any current caregivers, for sure, but also everyone you know.

Also, that list with name, DOB, insurance, blood type, meds, docs, allergies and current conditions/significant medical history belongs on P/CALS' person, vehicles, and at home on the fridge as well as in any caregiver notebook, at all times. And on your phones.

Best,
Laurie
 

affected

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Laurie I already offered :)
 
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