5 Common Problems with Live-in Carers and How to Solve them

A live-in carer offers an invaluable service. They provide assistance to your loved one who is experiencing physical or memory impairment in familiar surroundings, which is advantageous to staying in extra-care housing or sheltered accommodation. They also offer essential friendship, compassion, and comfort to their clients, giving reassurance to family members.

However, similar to other jobs, issues may emerge in the course of offering caregiving services. And due to the close bond between caregivers and clients, these issues may be a bit complex to address.

It is very important to set clear expectations from the onset. This will help you find a solution when things begin to take an unexpected turn.

In this article, we will explore five common problems with live-in carers and how to solve them.

Common Problems with Live-in Carers

They are not punctual

There are times when we get delayed because of traffic congestion, oversleeping, a missed alarm, or misplaced keys while hastily leaving the door. So, showing up behind schedule occasionally can be overlooked.

However, when your caregiver keeps arriving late, particularly if they are required to get there before you go to work, you can begin to question if they are seriously committed to the job.

Solution:

A good solution is to set clear expectations about punctuality in your contractual agreement with the carer. Make sure you write it down instead of simply saying it to them. This will prevent any form of confusion.

 

They spend a lot of time on their mobile device

Your employer will be unhappy if you keep fiddling with your phone in the middle of a meeting at work. Thus, it is totally understandable that you would want your caregiver to keep their phone aside when assisting your elderly loved ones.

But they are required to be near a phone in case of emergencies, and they might have to reach out to their loved ones or kids in the course of the day. However, there has to be a clear set of rules.

Solution: 

State a well-defined rule like “Mum would fully require your undivided attention; kindly reserve all unimportant calls for times she is asleep.”. Depending on the city or state you reside in, it can be challenging to supervise this. Pay a surprise visit if possible to check if the caregiver adheres to the instructions.

 

The caregiver gets annoyed or displeased with difficult behaviour

One of the most common symptoms of dementia is cognitive decline, which may result in personality change. This can be difficult for the caregiver.

An elderly dementia sufferer might behave in ways that are aggressive, lose interest in food, refuse to bathe, or become suspicious of everyone around them. This would be a perfect time to get in touch with an elderly care service provider to find out if you have to upgrade to a higher level of care or bring on board a new caregiver with better experience in dementia care ( and more empathy and patience).

If you desire to keep working with the same home aide, arrange to meet with them personally and check if they would want to undertake further training.

 

Not providing adequate mental stimulation

You might be expecting your dad’s care aide to accompany him for a stroll, enjoy a game of card or chess with him, and have a talk session filled with cognitively stimulating conversation and care. But the truth is that they are sitting in front of the TV screen each day. This might just be a case of unclear expectations.

Solution: Create a plan of care that specifically summarises the things that need to be done to manage the care needs of your loved ones.

You may include the following:

  • A 10-minute stroll in the garden twice a week.
  • Accompany dad to the library weekly.
  • Play some musical instruments
  • Show photo albums each afternoon to improve memory retention.

 

They are not properly communicating

Irrespective of where you reside, you would want information about the day-to-day updates of your elderly loved one. You also need to be aware if there are improvements in their cognitive or physical conditions or any challenges that have to be sorted out.

However, it could be that your caregiver might be extremely tired to inform you about this by the day’s end.

Solution: You can request that the caregiver send you a short message after their shift ends. A simple sentence will suffice about issues that take place that day or things that have happened.

Constant communication has to be added to your plan of care. If you are not close enough to touch base with your elderly loved one, contact an elderly care service provider to manage things and give you a status report.