We recently shared a story of what happens when your Mom doesn’t like her home caregiver.  There are a lot of things that can go wrong when hiring home care assistance.  On the other hand, there are a lot of things you (and the home care company you hire) can do to better the odds of success.

success versus failure home care tipsAs we mentioned in the previous article, there are many things the client, family and home care agency can do to help make a good match between home caregiver and client.  This doesn’t always ensure success, with the many personality factors involved, but careful planning sets caregivers up for the best chances of success.  What goes in to good home care planning?

  • A good assessment of the client’s needs to ensure a caregiver has the skill set to provide the care.
  • A good questionnaire about a client’s personal preferences, personality, schedule and likes/dislikes.
  • Gathering background information so a caregiver knows a client’s history, favorite activities and interests.
  • A detailed care plan that outlines the care and tasks to be accomplished, along with client preferences and routines.

As a potential home care client (or family member), you can ask some questions when you are selecting a home care provider to understand how they will help increase the likelihood of success.  You may want to ask:

  1. How do you determine our needs and assess the type of care that should be provided?
  2. What is your process for hiring caregivers and training them?  What is your retention rate?
  3. How do you match caregivers to clients?  What if my loved one does not get along with the caregiver?
  4. My Mom “hates TV/too much conversation/wants her house cleaned a certain way” (etc.).  How do you communicate this information to the caregivers who will work with her?
  5. How do you prepare substitute caregivers to come in and help when caregivers are sick, take vacation, etc.?

You can also put together some information that will help as you work with your home care provider and as the home caregiver helps your loved one.  Gather information such as:

  • Medical history (diagnoses, surgeries, conditions under treatment and precautions related to medical care needs)
  • List of medications and allergies
  • List of medical providers and key contacts
  • Other services the client receives ( such as Meals on Wheels or Medicare Home Healthcare–who provides services, how often, etc. for coordination)
  • A daily routine overview (preferred times to wake, sleep, nap, eat and other preferences about how your loved one prefers to spend the day or important activities)
  • Likes and dislikes
  • Food preferences (favorite foods, restaurants/special treats, dietary restrictions, food allergies/intolerances, food and drink dislikes)
  • Life history information (even if just a brief sketch or key information and things that might start a conversation such as occupations, family background and interests)
  • Preferred interests and activities (share things that your loved one used to do even if not active now…the home caregiver may be able to provide creative ideas about participating in those activities again or use it as a topic of conversation)

At EasyLiving, we created a unique Life History and Daily Routines Questionnaire to help gather this information and incorporate it in to our home care plans.  To learn more about EasyLiving’s home care services or process, give us a call any time at 727-448-0900 or request a time to speak with our Senior Care Consultant:


EasyLiving offers free home care assistance assessments, in which we visit with you and your loved one to discuss your needs, find out more about how we can help and provide a home safety assessment with tips and ideas.  Our experienced Senior Care Consultant, Sue Talbott, is here to help.  Sue has over 25 years of experience in senior care, social work and healthcare in Pinellas County that she puts to work to make sure you get answers and assistance when you need it most.

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