Recently, the Staten Island Advance released an article about preparing a senior for a caregiver at home.   SafeHarbor Homecare would like to pass on this information to help our clients to ease the adjustment process.


When an elderly family member chooses to remain at home rather than live with a relative or in a senior facility, the family should consider hiring a home-care professional.  Opening your home to a caregiver could be a scary thing.  It is essentially inviting a stranger into your home.  In some cases the aids are pleasantly welcomed into the family, but sometimes the elderly view caregivers as intruders, resulting in violence and foul language.

It is not easy to let someone you don’t know into your home, but there are a few ways to make the process less stressful:


“Introduce the health aid into the home gradually, in shorter shifts,” advises Dr. Eric Rackow, a professor at New York University School of Medicine and CEO of Senior Bridge, an organization that manages at-home care. It may be a struggle in the beginning, but everything should ease with time.  A gradual introduction allows a building of a relationship that is appropriate and forms trust between the senior and caregiver.


Rackow also indicates that one should not forget that just because they are the caregivers, remember this is their work, not their entire life.  Showing concern for him or her and treating them as your welcomed guest should make it more comfortable for everyone.   Rackow expresses that you should “consider showing them where they can comfortably put personal things, and offer to add some foods that she might enjoy to the shopping list — especially if the aide will be working long days or living in.”


Although the caregiver is considered a trusted professional, you should always verify their identity and keep track of all possessions in the home.  It is important to not leave valuable belongings or personal informational documents lying around.


Establishing a distinct set of ground rules is also important when hiring a home care professional.  Although they may spend many hours there or may live in the home, it is still your home.  Just because they may live there, they are still your employee.


Lastly, it is important to choose someone who is a trained professional, rather than someone who seems like a good friend.  Although a positive relationship is needed, providing safety and care is what the individual is hired to do.  Choose the person who will provide your loved one the best possible care all around.  It is acceptable to integrate them in some aspect of person life, as in family dinner, but never lose sight of the professional relationship.   Keep in mind that the relationship is “friendly, but professional.”

At SafeHarbor Homecare, we want our clients to be comfortable with our services.  Our goal is to provide the best care and safety possible.  These tips can help ease the process and generate a positive experience for you, your loved ones, and the caregiver alike.  Contact our offices to learn more about what we have to offer and how we can further help make this transition period easier.