Written by Paige Mitchell
Introducing a caregiver into your home can be an uncomfortable experience. Most likely you won’t know this person at all, and vice versa. In addition, it can be difficult to determine how to make them feel comfortable while still keeping the relationship professional. It’s important to remember that the caregiver will want you to continue with your daily activities and allow them to do their work. At the same time, they will want to feel at ease, knowing there will be open communication. These are probably similar to the goals you have for yourself in the arrangement. Here are five ways that you can help make this new working relationship run smoothly and offer a welcoming environment for your caregiver.
- Clear and Specific Expectations
Clear and detailed communication is the number one factor that will make a caregiver feel confident. Providing specific directions from the beginning lets the caregiver know where they stand and that there will be no surprises in terms of your expectations. At the onset of this relationship, it’s a good idea to be even more specific than might be necessary, put down your expectations on paper, and post them in a visible location. It’s also helpful to have your finances in order, so that you can talk about compensation and payment schedules with peace of mind.
- Have a Workspace Prepared Ahead of Time
Consider ahead of time what your caregiver’s work needs will be when in your home. If possible, create an area in the house where they can have their own space to stay organized. Designate a safe place for them to put their belongings and make the area comfortable enough for them to sit and eat their lunch or take a short break. Having a place dedicated to them will make them feel appreciated and confident that they’re not overstepping boundaries.
- Keep Things in Working Order
Before your caregiver begins working in your home, it’s a good idea to check your home for needed repairs. It’s frustrating to try and work with appliances that aren’t working properly, or doors and windows that stick. In addition, it might be a good idea to check your home appliance plan to see if you’re due for scheduled maintenance.
- Praise and Give Feedback
Always be on the lookout for when your caregiver does something well and show your appreciation in some way. Telling someone “thank you” for a job well done not only promotes a sense of pride in their work, but they will know for sure how to perform the task the next time around. In the same vein, if there’s something they need to work on, giving constructive feedback is also a healthy communication tool that will strengthen the relationship.
- Offer Kitchen Privileges
It’s likely that your caregiver will be preparing meals and snacks for you but may find it hard to fit in their own meals. A good way to show gratitude for their service is to let them know they are welcome to eat with you. Your caregiver will feel more at home if allowed to heat up meals and keep their personal snacks in the pantry.
Welcoming someone new into your home can seem a bit daunting, but don’t worry – you can do it. With a little bit of effort your home will be one that works for you as well as your caregiver.