Supporting You to Live at Home for Longer
Selecting someone to take care of yourself or your loved one is an experience that deserves time, attentiveness and careful consideration.
Chances are if you are in the process of looking for a home care worker there are going to be a few people from the BCD team you get to meet and choose from. Of course, as a benchmark, it’s important to find the person who most aligns with your individual needs and values… and in addition to that, here are five qualities we feel are important to look for in any person you invite so closely into your life and home:
CARE – a quality that expands beyond the ‘doing of the task’, a quality that encapsulates the approach and the intention behind the ‘doing’… For example – someone can dress a wound, or feed someone a meal in a rush or a hurry – and the experience feels jolty and abrasive or it could be done with tenderness, empathy and compassion and it feels nourishing… Care is the heart of the individual and how they infuse that into their day-to-day action. This is not a quantifiable quality and our recommendation here is to trust yours…
PRACTICAL TIP – In the process of choosing the right person for you… Ask a simple request – like could they make you or the person that needs the care, a cup of tea… and give yourself a chance to feel how they approach the ‘task at hand’. Ask yourself… did it feel calm, warm and connected or did it feel like an obligatory tick of a box?
- COMMUNICATION – it’s important that the person you choose communicates in a way that feels supportive to you both verbally and non-verbally. How do they speak to you, what does their body language say and does their energy match the words they are sharing. This also includes active listening to and understanding of yours or your loved one’s care needs. This is important so they can champion and speak on your behalf when you are not in the room.
PRACTICAL TIP – After meeting them, reflect on how you felt and how they spoke with you. Was it warm and friendly? Did they listen to your needs?
- INITIATIVE – learning, curiosity and progressive thinking… It’s often misunderstood that to start a role as a care worker you need to have a formal qualification. In many organisations this is not the case. In the process of choosing the right person for you, don’t be afraid to ask for current qualifications, and plans for future study… and beyond that… how proactive and curious they are in creatively approaching you or your loved ones’ needs. For example, -a child with a disability and learning difficulty could have trouble understanding that they need to have a shower and get upset every time they are engaged in this activity… How could the care worker help the child better understand that this is something that can be fun and helps them get over that fear?
PRACTICAL TIP – through the conversation ask them how they would approach a situation in your life that you’ve had to deal with and find challenging and see how much initiative they show in their approach.
- RELIABILITY – it’s important to know that you are in good hands and know that a person is going to be there on time when you need them and communicate with notice if that agreement for whatever reason needs to change.
PRACTICAL TIP – notice if they are on time for your appointments and do they call back when they say they are going to? Be clear in your communication that reliability is important for you.
- LIGHTNESS & JOY – so often when we are placed in positions of seeking care, we and or our loved ones have gone through difficult processes to make this decision. It’s important to not underestimate how much a smile, a squeeze of a hand, a light story or joke that stirs a little chuckle – how much of a difference that can make in someone’s day.
PRACTICAL TIP – ask yourself – how did you feel after meeting with the person? DId you feel that they made you comfortable, were they friendly and energized or did you feel low and depleted… Use this as part of your compass for selection.
If you are in the process of looking for a home care worker who is the right fit for you and your family, let BCD know how we can best meet your situation and needs.