When you find a great caregiver for an aging loved one, you want to keep them as long as possible! It can take a while to get familiar with someone else caring for a senior friend or family member, so once you reach that level of comfort it can be devastating to have a caregiver move to a different job.
Take a look at four tips for reducing caregiver turnover so you can enjoy the peace of mind knowing your loved one is being cared for by someone you all know and trust.
- Invest in really getting to know the caregiver.
When a caregiver is new, you will both feel like strangers to one another. These first few weeks are the most important for showing an interest in getting to know them beyond their role as your loved one’s caregiver.
Ask them about their personal life, their passions and interests and what called them into a career as a caregiver. As you have these discussions, you will learn a lot about each other! They will open up and feel comfortable asking you questions and for advice related to caring for your loved one. Also, by creating an open channel for communication, you help make their job more reasonable and enjoyable – all reasons to encourage them to stay with you long-term.
- Value their advice.
As your loved one’s caregiver, they will spend a lot of time in their home and notice things that may be of concern. Ask for their advice! Be sure to check in with your caregiver frequently to assess your loved one’s mental and physical health, the safety of their home and any other changes they may have noticed. Your caregiver is your eyes and ears when you cannot be there. Be sure to make use of this resource!
- Make them feel appreciated.
There will be many times when your caregiver will step in and address hard situations. They may be there when your loved one falls or becomes ill. This is just as stressful and scary for your caregiver as it is for you. Be sure to find time to speak with them in a calm environment to see how they are feeling. Then, be sure to express your appreciation for them being there to help your loved one in a time of need. It’s why they are there and they will be happy to hear you notice this!
Also, make note of their birthday and be sure to acknowledge them for National Caregiver Appreciation month in November and for the holidays. Yes, it’s a few more reminders to add to your list; however, what they do day-in and day-out for your loved one and your entire family is invaluable!
- Be attentive to early signs that they are discontent or looking for a new job.
If your caregiver feels unappreciated or discontent, they will likely start to show signs early on. This can show up in a variety of different ways including calling off work, shirking on responsibilities or seeming distant or short in your conversations with them.
When you feel you have noted these signs, have an open conversation with your caregiver. This should not be confrontational, but rather from a place of love and concern. If they are able to open up to you, you will have the opportunity to make changes or improvements to their work situation that may encourage them to re-engage their job instead of leaving you.
Have you experienced caregiver turnover? How did this impact your family? Please share your story or advice for reducing caregiver turnover!