5 ways to check on your older adult’s in home caregiver
1. Stay in touch by unexpectedly dropping in or calling
The simplest way to check up on your senior’s in home caregiver is to drop by unannounced for brief visits.
It’s wise to make this a habit, not just do it in the first few weeks after they were hired. That sends the message that you’re keeping a close eye on your older adult’s care.
While you’re there, look for signs that tell you how they’ve been spending their time. Is your older adult clean, fed, and in good spirits? Is the caregiver engaging them in conversation or an activity? Or is your older adult asleep in front of the TV with the caregiver focused on their smartphone?
Visiting in person is best, but if you aren’t able to drop by, call your older adult instead. Ask a few questions about what’s been happening to get a feel for how the day is going.
If talking to your older adult isn’t possible, it’s still worthwhile to call and chat with the caregiver.
2. Trust your gut instincts
You’ve probably heard this a million times: trust your gut. If something feels wrong, investigate further. Don’t dismiss your uneasiness as nothing.
A wrong feeling is a good enough reason to let someone go or to not hire them. Your older adult’s well-being isn’t worth the risk.
3. Ask for and listen to your senior’s feedback
Your older adult is an important source of information. Have casual conversations about how they feel things are going with the in home caregiver.
Listen openly and without judgement so they’ll be more likely to confide in you.
Even with older adults who might complain because they don’t want to have a caregiver around, you’ll likely be able to tell the difference between regular complaints or signs of problems.
If anything they say sounds odd or suspicious, take it seriously and investigate further.
4. Ask for a daily log
Ask the caregiver to write a daily journal that briefly documents how they spent the day.
This should include notes about your older adult’s mood, appetite, medications, and bathroom visits. They can also make notes of any problems, injuries, or questions for you.
5. Recruit neighbors to help keep an eye on things
If your older adult has kind neighbors that you trust, ask them to keep an eye out for any strange activity.
Or, after introducing them to the caregiver as a trusted friend, ask them to drop in once in a while to see how things are going.