There are certainly a plethora of nurse’s aides ready and willing to work with your loved one, but choosing the right person to take good care of them can be a daunting task. It’s terrifying to think of making a mistake and choosing someone who will mistreat or neglect them. Here are some tips on choosing the right caregiver, given from a nurse’s aide.
Nurse’s aides should be friendly. Obviously, anyone who is grumpy, rude, or short with you, especially on your first or second meetings, is very likely to be that way with your loved one as well.
Nurse’s aides should be professional. There is a certain level of professionalism that must be maintained while on the job. After some time, it becomes very easy for the aide to become comfortable with your family and this is at the risk of professionalism. Any time an aide shows up to work out of uniform or gets too personal with your loved one, it’s time to have a talk with them, because this is a slippery slope.
Nurse’s aides should be clean. Any sloppy, wrinkly, dirty uniforms or greasy, messy hair should not be acceptable. Their personal hygiene is a reflection of their level of hygiene in their job, and for the sake of preventing infections and illness, you do not want a person with poor hygiene working with your loved one.
Nurse’s aides should be strong of stomach. Caregiving can be a messy job, and nurse’s aides know this from the get-go. Often, there is the misconception that in-home care is different, easier, and not as messy. While there is a lower volume of clients to work with doing in-home care as opposed to working in a long-term care facility, there will still be messes to clean, showers to give, and falls to prevent, and the nurse’s aide that will be caring for your loved one should be well aware of that, and more importantly, okay with that. A good way to test these waters is to mention cleaning your loved one after an accident, and see how the aide reacts. Watch their body language and facial expressions. If they are experienced in their job and strong of stomach, then a little accident shouldn’t bother them at all.
Nurse’s aides should be willing to learn. Many aides are set in their ways and unwilling to compromise. This is a problem, because every client is a unique individual and what may work for someone else may not work for them, especially if your loved one has dementia or is sometimes combative. Mention to the aide that your loved one can be a bit difficult sometimes, and see what they say. “I have a lot of experience with dementia patients,” is usually a good answer, or something along the lines of, “That’s okay, we’ll get used to each other!” Be a bit wary of responses like, “Oh, I know how to deal with dementia.” Obviously, nothing is black and white, but this is a good thing to test.
In addition to the previous important character traits of a good nurse’s aide, the caregiver that you hire for your loved one should have a compatible personality for your family. Companionship is a large part of the job for an in-home caregiver, and it should be enjoyable companionship for both your loved one and the nurse’s aide. This is an important search. Everyone wants the best quality of life possible for their family and friends, and their caregiver has a large influence on their quality of life. But, with a little patience and determination, it is very possible to find a nurse’s aide that is a great fit for your family.