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  • Writer's pictureAnastasia Pyatigorski

What Should I Look for In a Companion Caregiver for an Elderly Loved One

Updated: Nov 21, 2019

If you need someone to provide companion care for an elderly loved one, you should look for a person who is committed to maintaining the elder's dignity, experienced with his specific conditions, willing to do menial tasks. You should also look for a caregiver who is employed by a certified agency. Even though companion caregivers are not medical professionals and cannot administer medications, they can do a lot to ensure your loved one is comfortable, safe and happy.

A good companion caregiver should be committed to maintaining your loved one's dignity. Many older people are embarrassed that they can no longer fully care for themselves. To ensure dignity, include your loved one when you interview prospective caregivers. Good caregivers will address your loved one by his name of preference and include him in the discussion. If the prospective caregiver speaks to your loved one as she would speak to a child, or talks about him as if he isn't there, it means you should keep looking.

The right companion caregiver should also be experienced with your loved one's condition as well as how that condition expresses itself. For example, if the elder suffers from Alzheimer’s disease and tends to become hostile, the caregiver you select needs to know how to defuse tense situations. A caregiver experienced with Alzheimer’s patients who only become forgetful or disoriented may not have the necessary skills. Similarly, if you need the caregiver to assist with bathing, toileting or dressing, she should have experience with those tasks.

Willingness to do menial tasks is another important trait to look for in a caregiver. Maintaining a clean and neat living environment is crucial to the health and safety of your loved one. When interviewing caregivers, be up-front about the amount of housework the job will entail and watch the caregiver's reaction. If she balks at tasks such as cleaning the toilet, she may not be the right person for you. A good caregiver should also be honest about any agency rules that limit how much and what type of cleaning she is allowed to do.

Knowledge of professional limitations is another important trait in a companion caregiver. Because companion caregivers are not medical professionals, they are not allowed to dispense medications, apply medicated creams, or do wound care. When you interview prospective caregivers, ask them what role they anticipate playing in the management of your loved one's medications. A good caregiver will tell you that she can remind the elder to take his meds, but cannot do tasks such as filling his pill box for him or sorting his pills.

Pacific Domestic Agency understands that hiring a dedicated caregiver can help families restore normality and peace to their lives. A companion caregiver would also bring comfort to your loved one with physical disability or advanced age. Receiving care and companionship permits a love one to remain safe and comfortable in his or her own home. PDA's process of behavioral screening interview, criminal background check, reliable references and a minimum of 2 years’ experience gives us confidence in the quality of the caregivers we referrer to our clients. We referrer those caregivers that have already chosen this field as their life’s work.

Pacific Domestic Agency a referral agency since 1995 serving the San Fernando Valley, Santa Monica, Malibu, Beverly Hills and adjacent cities. PDA'sBeverly Hills, Brentwood, Burbank, Calabasas, Calabasas Hills, Chatsworth, Culver City, Encino, Glendale, Granada Hills, Hermosa Beach, Hidden Hills, Hollywood, Long Beach, LA, Los Angeles, WLA, West Los Angeles, Manhattan Beach, Marina Del Rey, North Hollywood, Northridge, Pacific Palisades, Palos Verdes Estates, Rancho Palos Verdes, Redondo Beach, Reseda, Rolling Hills, Rolling Hills Estates, San Fernando Valley, San Pedro, Santa Monica, Sherman Oaks, Pasadena, Studio City, Tarzana, Toluca Lake, Topanga, Universal City, Valencia, Van Nuys, Venice, West Hills, West Hollywood, West Los Angeles, Toluca Lake, Westlake Village, Westwood and Woodland Hills.

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