When an elderly relative needs a caretaker for their needs, there are a few options for family members. They can put them in a senior living community, they can take care of their loved one on their own, or they can hire a professional caretaker for them.
Nadine Glatley, owner of Rent-A-Daughter in Cleveland, and Shalom Plotkin, owner of Right at Home in Beachwood, help set up elderly patients with caregivers that best suit them and their needs.
Plotkin said the matchmaking process is incumbent on the idea the client and caregiver feel comfortable with each other.
“What you don’t want is a parade of caregivers coming through the client’s home,” he said. “That’s not good. What you would prefer to have is one caregiver who’s going to be looking after the client. What we also like to do is introduce them, make sure there’s a good fit and try to involve the family members as well. So if they could be there, it could help with the introduction and transition.”
Glatley said it’s important to build rapport with the client. This will make the client more comfortable with the caregiver. During the matchmaking process, her company will look at what likes and interests the individual has. It could also be any similarities the client sand caretaker may share, like whether they both have children. It’s also important to know the general personality of the client.
“I learn that you talk when they talk to you,” Glatley said. “Some of them just want quiet. You have to figure out the person’s personality. And then you revise it as you go when you’re providing the care, because you want to make sure that they’re happy. At the end of the day, that’s what matters, is that their needs are met. They should feel comfortable with that caregiver, and that they feel like it’s a good fit.”
Glatley has owned her company for
17 years, beginning as a caregiver. She then started hiring caregivers to go in and provide care to different families as the company began growing.
“In my career, when I first started in care giving, I wanted to stand next to (clients) and hold their arm so they don’t fall,” Glatley said. “And I was told, ‘No honey I don’t need that. I can do that by myself.’ And I have to respect that, because I want to act as a daughter. I want to act as a family member. I want them to feel that comfort level. That’s why it’s called Rent-A-Daughter.”
Sometimes, this process can go very quickly, but Plotkin said it depends on a variety of factors. There may be some clients that have certain devices such as oxygen machines that need to be used. In that case, Plotkin would need to find a caretaker who knows how to operate these machines.
“One thing we look for is that the caregivers have the requisite skills,” Plotkin said. “For example, we wouldn’t want to have a caregiver who’s not experienced on a certain device or a certain technique go to a client that, for example, needs to have their oxygen machine cared for. Maybe the lift device needs to be manipulated or maybe their catheter has to be cleaned in a specific way.”
Plotkin said it is also important that the caretakers are well-versed in the exact ailments a client may have.
“We want to make sure that our caregiver has the right experience, training and support to make sure that our clients are safe, comfortable and properly engaged,” Plotkin said. “Our clients with dementia, we have to make sure that they engage. Meaning, helping them with their activities of daily living, some companionship and perhaps some safety supervision.”