Your elderly parent is fit to be tied. And you're not doing well, either. Why? Her favorite caregiver quit. Gone is the one who knows Mom loves pink, hates broccoli, and has to be bribed to take a bath. In her place is a stranger.
How do you handle this? Mike Davis, owner of Always Best Care-Eastside, a home-care agency serving Seattle and East King County, has a definite opinion. "Caregiver turnover is high, and there's not much we can do when a caregiver quits. But we can do our best both to feel and mitigate the pain of those involved."
He advocates a "no strangers" policy. It works like this: If Carol quits as a caregiver for your mom, she or another staff member that you and your mom know will introduce Barb, the new caregiver. The person who introduces Barb will work with her for a good part of a shift, to teach Barb the ins and outs of your mom's care needs and preferences.
At Always Best Care-Eastside, the agency pays both caregivers during the training period. The client pays for only one.
I like the "no stranger" concept. If we or others can take the time and care to introduce our parents to new people in their lives, everyone wins.
Can you think of other situations in which you can implement the "no stranger" concept with your elderly parent?