When It’s Time To Move On To Another Caregiver

September 21, 2015

home care providersHiring a home care provider for your loved one, whether it’s a home care agency or an independent care provider, can be a delicate process. Even if you think you’ve made the right choice, you can’t foresee everything and sometimes things just don’t work out. If you’ve thoughtfully considered it and come to the conclusion that the time has come to terminate your relationship with your caregiver, never hesitate to take action.

In most cases, letting someone go can be difficult, even when it’s the right thing to do. Relationships with your caregivers are inherently personal, making the “break-up” twice as challenging. Learn about how to go about it with confidence, respect and authority.

Don’t set them up for failure

Be sure that you’ve provided feedback and ample opportunity for the care provider to learn from your concerns and adjust their approach. If there’s a process they need to improve, anything that needs to be clarified or something about their caregiving style they need to modify, be sure that you’ve discussed this with them as well what your preferences are for the future. A caregiving relationship without open communication and feedback is doomed to failure.

Be clear and compassionate

State your reasons clearly, give concrete scenarios when they occurred and demonstrate where you’ve tried to rectify. Refrain from blaming or being excessively critical. Focus on the facts, stay objective, use neutral language and try keeping heightened emotions out of the discussion. This should be an explanation of your rationale, not an opportunity to criticize. This is also a chance for the caregiver to learn from this and move forward, getting emotional or too critical will make it more personal and less of a learning opportunity for them.

Do your research

Remember, with the exception of a home care agency, you are considered a home caregiver’s employer. Your home care provider may still be entitled to some benefits following the termination. Make sure that you understand the labor laws in your state and your care provider’s unemployment rights. In some states, you’re required to pay a fired employee on the next payday. In others, employers should receive their last paycheck at the time of termination.

Request to take back personal items

Reclaim any personal items that your care provider may have acquired while working for you. These can include access cards, keys, borrowed things and others. Change any security codes you might have for an alarm system.

You should also consider their access to physical and digital assets, especially for those who have been employed for a long time. If your caregiver has provided assistance with your loved one’s management of finances or online access, make sure to update passwords and close their access to any accounts they might have worked with. If they held a credit or debit card for shopping, be sure to get those back.

If applicable, provide recommendation

Some decide to end their care provider’s employment for more subjective reasons, not because they didn’t do their jobs well. In some cases it could simply be a difference of personality or style. If your caregiver was competent but just not a good match, consider offering a recommendation. They might be the perfect fit for another family and a positive reference can help them in their search.

Inform your loved one

Replacing a care provider can be confusing and stressful for a senior, especially if there has been an attachment involved. Be assertive and honest about the reasons that required you to take action. Remember to acknowledge your loved one’s feelings, and provide assurance and optimism about the replacement.

Continuity of care is imperative. We advise finding new care provider or home care agency before letting your current one go. It will reduce stress, inconvenience and downtime for you and your loved one.

Mycarematch.com can help with this process. We connect you to individual caregivers or home care agencies in your area, with the skills and expertise to meet your personal care and specialized needs. Begin your search with us and find the right in-home care provider today.

About the Author

Doug Breuer is co-founder of MyCareMatch.com and has worked in senior care for the last 9 years for the State of Oregon. From investigating cases of elder abuse to managing the delivery of long term care to residents of Central Oregon, Doug has been involved in all aspects of senior care.

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