There are many hurdles to jump in order to convince our parents to engage in home care services; financial, their pride, denial, invasion of privacy, what others might think, and the ubiquitous “strangers in the house” concern. This is the most common of all the fears our parents mention when we begin the dialogue about what home care looks like.
And let’s face it. The concern is legitimate. We have all heard the random story about a rogue caregiver who made off with the family jewels. So, first things first, we always agree that this concern is legitimate. If you scoff at this, then YOU are in denial!
But then we go into “there are no problems, only solutions” mode. We acknowledge the risk of having strangers come into the house and then we explain how we mitigate the risk.
• Our agency is the only agency in west Michigan that screens applicants with psychological testing. We purge half of the candidates that apply with this valuable, albeit expensive, tool.
• My wife Marion and I do all the interviewing. We have made a pledge to our clients that we will take great care of them, so we have to be sure the caregivers we hire have the same level of commitment and compassion that we do. After all, they are the ones performing the services and representing us every day with our clients.
• We call all references, personal and professional.
• We perform background checks on all applicants.
• We perform drug screens on all applicants.
• All applicants must have experience, either a year of taking care of a family member or neighbor, or be a licensed CNA (Certified Nurse Aide).
• If all of the above checks out, we have one final criterion that can trump all of the above. We ask ourselves “Would we trust our parents’ care to this candidate?” Sometimes we have to admit that the candidate has a lot of great qualifications, but there’s just something missing and we have to pass. It is a gut feeling. You see, if we are not comfortable sending them to our parent’s, how can we send them to yours?
Once we have covered the above work we do to be sure we have honest and committed caregivers who your parents can trust, we talk about the longevity of someone being a “stranger”. We have all had services done at our homes, so each cleaning lady, plumber, electrician etc. were at one time, a stranger. But now they come regularly and are trusted and welcomed. Our caregivers will bridge that gap between “stranger” and “trusted caregiver” in a very short period of time. It never fails!