According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the elderly population in South Africa is projected to double by 2050.
As the population ages, more and more people will be in need of care assistance to help with tasks such as bathing, dressing, using the bathroom, going to the shop etc. When an elderly parent or loved one is in need of care, a family member sometimes take on the task as care provider. Unfortunately this is usually not a long term solution as most family care providers have jobs and other responsibilities that also demand their attention.
People usually get to a crossroad where they have to either find a retirement or frail care home for their loved one or hire a home care provider.
Most elderly people prefer to stay in their own home, surrounded by their familiar environment, as long as possible.
The task of finding a home care provider for your loved on is sensitive and can seem like a daunting task.
You have 2 options, either use a placement agency or do a private hire. Both have pro’s and con’s.
PROS: Agencies usually screen care providers, do background checks, provide training and handle the paperwork, such as payroll etc. They also usually have back up care available, should the chosen care provider be sick or on leave.
CONS: Although this is the premium option, they usually charge a premium rate for the service provided.
PROS: Because finding a care provider for a loved one is so special, people often feel it is more personal, and that they have control over the chosen care provider if they interview the candidates themselves.
CONS: You are responsible for sourcing, interviewing, doing background checks and attending to paperwork yourself. You will also be responsible in finding a backup care provider should the chosen person not be available on a specific day and this can sometimes happen on very short notice.
You should also consider the fact that some agencies - at CareChamp for example we do - provide insurance and also assume responsibility for the caregiver.
Whichever way you choose to go, there are important traits to look out for when appointing a home care provider.
The top 5 traits to look out for in a caregiver are:
- Physically fit/strong and strong constitution
Patience are a quality every care provider should possess. There will be many challenges when providing care. For example; there may be changes in the daily schedule, difficult and unexpected situations arise, the person being cared for shows challenging behaviour.
People who receive care, need it for very good reasons, they usually lack the ability to be fully independent, whether is it because of a disability or age related, this can be frustrating for the person and may cause them to lose their temper or lash out at the care provider. During situation like this it is important that the care provider stay patient and not take it personally.
A lot of people who receive care are elderly. And as someone get older, it gets more and more difficult to do the things they used to do. They may move slower and more difficult or not remember and think as fast as they used to.
According to the Alzheimer's Reading Room, care providers often contribute to the loss of independence of a person because of their impatience.
They say that a good rule here is to allow a person to do as much as they can for themselves and to avoid doing things for the person that they can do for themselves.
It helps the person being cared for to keep their dignity if they can still do things for themselves or others.
Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another person. This may well be the number one characteristic of a good care provider. Being able to empathize is being able to put yourself in the other person's shoes and understand what the person is going through. This allows the care provider to understand when the person may feel scared, vulnerable, unsure or uncomfortable, and adjust the way care are provided.
Care providers should always ask themselves: “How will I like to be treated under these circumstances?” This way they will always provide excellent care.
Care providers are often trusted not only with the person's health, but also with the person`s home and belongings. Therefore it is crucial that the care provider is someone who are dependant and trustworthy and will not take advantage of the person or their resources.
It is very difficult for people to lose their independence, imagine not being able to bath, get dressed, go to the bathroom or eat by yourself. Now imagine also having someone to help you with your needs, but you can not trust them to be on time, treat you well, respect your property etc. Therefore care providers need to be trustworthy to do things as requested and be sensitive to the way the person like things done.
Each person in need of care is unique. Often a care technique that works with one person will not work with the next. The care provider will need to be creative and innovative to figure out a way to help the person in need of care. Sometimes older people, and especially those with Dementia, can`t communicate their needs like they used to and communicate through different behaviours. The care provider then need to show initiative and figure out what the person is trying to communicate and find ways to address their needs.
The care provider who is able to think “out of the box” will show superior caring skills.
Emotionally and physically strong and a strong constitution:
Care providing is not for sissys. There will be days that will be so challenging that the care provider may feel they have reached their limit. Times like these call for emotional strength. They will need to dig deep within themselves to keep providing excellent care, but they also need to recognize when they are tired and need some time off. This is not only to the care providers advantage but also the person in their care.
Also, the person in their care may rely on the care provider to help them move from one place to the next, assist them in and out of the bath or turn them in bed. It is important for the care provider to have the physical strength and good technique to safely assist the person with this needs.
Additionally, care providers often need to deal with bodily fluids or assist the person in going to the bathroom or change incontinence wear (nappies). The care provider can not shy away from these duties and need treat the person with dignity, patience and respect.
CareChamp is a new home based care company that provide short and long term care in Cape Town and surrounds.
We promise to provide clients with the best Champs (care providers) in Cape Town and stand firm on their philosophy called C.H.A.M.P
C = CAPABLE
We communicate to and train Champs on an ongoing basis. We ensure Champs stay up to date with the latest trends and needs in care providing.
H = HONEST
We place emphasis on the importance of communication and honesty, and encourage Champs to be transparent at all times.
A = ATTENTIVE
We assist Champs to be attentive through having to submit a detailed care report before clocking out of their shift.
M = MINDFUL
We train Champs to be mindful of the environment and home of the client.
P = PIONEERING
We don't just innovate through the use of technology to ensure world class service delivery, we also challenge our Champs to be innovative in their care approach.
Clients can conveniently book a care provider online. CareChamp will also provide you with the top five care providers that match your needs and you can watch videos of the selected Champs in order to find a perfect match for your loved one.