There are many reasons why you may hire a caregiver. Maybe you need assistance watching your young children while you’re at work or maybe you need help taking care of an ill loved one. Whatever the reason, living and working with a caregiver can feel slightly awkward in the beginning. You may struggle to understand your relationship with the caregiver.
These feelings will go away with time. To help you suppress the uncomfortable, unfamiliar feelings, it’s important that you understand some caregiver etiquette.
Set a Solid Foundation
When you welcome a caregiver into your home, you are welcoming that person into a very personal space. Don’t let your caregiver feel like a stranger! Make sure you have a proper introduction with them prior to the first moments on the job.
Depending on how you hired your caregiver, some companies will actually set up a personal meeting with you, the caregiver, and a supervisor. However, if this is not automatically organized, feel free to initiate this introduction on your own.
This conversation will put both parties on the same page. The caregiver will understand what is expected, and they will have the opportunity to ask any questions about the position and your lifestyle.
A proper introduction also helps you get to know the caregiver a little bit better. Encourage the caregiver to share their background with you. When the caregiver finally starts the job, hopefully they will feel like they know you a bit better.
Your Home Is Now a Work Environment
Usually, being a caregiver is no walk in the park. Depending on the specifics of the job, physical labor is involved. While your home is a place of relaxation and comfort to you, you must remember that your home is also a workplace for your caregiver.
You shouldn’t have to jeopardize your privacy, but you should make sure your caregiver feels safe. If they are restricted in your home, then they are restricted in their job. Things like keeping your home at a comfortable temperature depending on the weather and providing necessary supplies will help make the situation better.
Reiterate How You Want Things Done
For a caregiver, every client is different. That is why it is vital for you to reiterate how you want things done. You may feel like you’re over-explaining things, but most caregivers will appreciate the reminders and clarification.
Also, handling your repetition nicely and respectfully can strengthen the relationship between you and your caregiver.
Discuss Changes in Expectations
Sometimes you may feel the need to ask your caregiver to perform unexpected tasks. When this occurs, don’t just assume that your caregiver will be able to complete the job.
Over time, your relationship with your caregiver will become stronger, so it may be easy to start to ask them to take on a larger role. However, you must keep in mind their original job description. If a task isn’t what they signed up for, make sure you have a conversation with them before you ask for their assistance.
It’s also important for you to note that some care providers have certain guidelines they must follow. Double check with the agency about what their rules are in order to avoid putting the caregiver in an awkward situation.
Bringing a caregiver into your home isn’t typically easy, but it shouldn’t have to be nerve-wracking. If you build a solid foundation, remember your home is a workspace, and discuss any changes in the job description, then the relationship between your caregiver and your family should be in good shape.
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