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New Caregiver Orientation: How to Welcome Your Newest ‘Member’ of the Family

Finally, you are able to find a new caregiver for your senior parent! Excited to get started? Not yet. You have a lot of things to learn before you welcome your newest ‘member’ of the family. New caregiver orientation is a must. Here’s a guide:

1. Getting consent from your parent is very important.

Getting a professional caregiver for your parent is an important decision to make. It is best to let him know that someone—other than family members—will provide care as well. Therefore, get the senior member of the family to be a part of the hiring process.

2. Offer a warm welcome—and a house tour.

When the caregiver arrives, make her feel welcome. Proper introductions should be in order. It will be a big help for everyone if the whole household is ready for her arrival. Even if there is only one patient to care for, everyone must cooperate to ensure quality senior care. After meeting the patient and family members, a house tour may follow to make her feel more at ease and at home.

3. Do the new caregiver orientation—the proper way.

It is important that at the very beginning everything is clear to  both parties: the patient and the caregiver. During the new caregiver orientation, the family must discuss all important information about the patient—diet, nutrition, medical condition, medications, hygiene, and other physical needs. Also beneficial are the daily routine, hobbies, and interests of the patient, including the customs or traditions that the patient and the family adhere to.

Equally important are the safety plans, including contingencies for emergencies and the contact numbers of family members and institutions like the hospital and the police.  On the part of the caregiver, the nursing care plan must be in place.

Everyone has his own ways of doing things, but what’s important is that you communicate well with your caregiver. Tell her what you expect. Likewise, she must explain to the patient and the family her caring plan. This way, all expectations from both sides and the boundaries between them are clearly laid out. Prepare a written agreement or contract before the new caregiver orientation.

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