We know the best caregivers have a personal connection with the people they work with. That’s why at Giv.care you can hire your own caregivers. If you need help figuring out how to find a caregiver, this guide will tell you everything you need to know.
Here are 10 tips to find a caregiver to work with your loved one with a disability.
Let People Know You are Looking for a Caregiver
First, let everyone know you are hiring. Most jobs advertise to hire employees, right? Caregiving is the same. One of the easiest ways to let people know is to text a simple message letting them know that you are looking for a caregiver. And don’t be afraid to approach people when you think they or someone they know would be a great caregiver.
Approaching someone is a compliment that you think highly of them or their family. This may feel uncomfortable but having a loved one with disabilities is all about learning new skills, right? You can do this too!
Reach Out to Friends and Family to Find a Caregiver
Start letting your “inner circle” of family and friends know that you will be hiring a caregiver. Did you know a family member can work as a caregiver? You bet! Family members make great caregivers because they already understand you and your individual with a disability.
Your friends are another great source of caregivers. They are familiar with you and your loved one. If they are not available, ask your family and friends to reach out to people they know to find a caregiver.
Circle of Acquaintances to Find a Caregiver
Reach out to your “outer circle” neighbors, coworkers, and people who attend your church or whose children attend your children’s school. Talk with people who are already friends with your children. Keep an eye out for potential caregivers in places where you exercise, recreate, or socialize. Don’t limit yourself to people who “look like caregivers”. The most unexpected person may become your best caregiver and show up consistently for seven years.
People in Your Community to Find a Caregiver
You can also find caregivers at local restaurants, parks, or coffee shops with whom you’ve become acquainted. It may feel awkward but it is important to find caregivers for your loved one. Do you take your dog to the dog park? Be friendly and chat with people. Let them know you are looking for a caregiver. You will be surprised at the positive connections you will make. Watch our video below to review what we have talked about so far.
“Elevator Pitch” to Find a Caregiver
Let’s jot down some notes in your phone that you will use as an elevator pitch. What’s an elevator pitch? If you saw someone in an elevator and they were getting out on a floor before you, what would you say to tell them what you are doing? Sometimes we might ramble on and might overwhelm someone.
An example would be “It’s great to see you. I’m hiring a caregiver to work with my son, Luke. Would you or anyone you know be interested? Luke likes to (mention two activities that Luke likes to do) kick a ball at the park or play video games. I’m paying $20 an hour.”
Help them picture what they might do with your loved one. Swap out interests you share based on who you are talking to and what they are interested in. For instance, cooking, grocery shopping, fishing, coloring, painting fingernails, playing sports, crafts.
Always add a “Call to Action” at the end of your pitch. For instance, to give them space and let them chew on the idea. If they don’t say, yes right away. (Hardly anyone does.) Ask them if you can text them with what you need and the hourly rate of pay. Let them know it is a flexible job and you can work around a work, school, or college schedule.
The “Call to Action” here is for you to text message them with brief details.
Download the How to Find a Caregiver Worksheet to walk through different scenarios and write your elevator pitch.
This interaction and approach are to lay a seed about a job opportunity. Allow the seed to set and follow their cues. If they ask questions of course tell them more and follow up with a text message so they have your cell phone number. You may have someone text you months later that they want to learn more.
Let’s jot down some qualities that you would like to see in a caregiver for your loved one.
Remember that most likely you won’t be approaching a professional caregiver. Anyone can be a caregiver but there might be some qualities that you like in your caregiver.
- First, you want them to want to work with your loved one. Caregivers who care do better work. They stick around.
- For that reason allow the person to truly consider the proposal on their time.
- I’ve approached many people and sometimes don’t hear back from them for a couple of months but when they contact me, they are really ready.
- You want someone with the capacity to be kind.
- Kindness is a personality trait. They probably won’t be an expert in autism or cerebral palsy but they can learn about those things.
- You want someone whose kindness will motivate them to learn about your loved one.
- If someone cares it is amazing what they will develop the capacity to do.
- Write down other qualities knowing they will grow through their caregiving experience. Haven’t you grown having a loved one with a disability?
Hire Several Caregivers
The number one quality is you want someone to WANT to work with your loved one as a caregiver. You don’t want to hire just one person that will burn out. Hire several people with each caregiver working just a few times a week. By doing this, your caregivers or loved one won’t get tired of each other. You don’t want someone to quit and be without having other caregivers to rely on.
Hiring multiple caregivers also gives you the chance to caregivers with different interests and skills. That way you can schedule caregivers for shifts where they can have successes doing the things they are good at.
Your loved one will have different experiences from each caregiver that will enrich their lives. One caregiver might love to cook, another one might love to go shopping or to the park. A caregiver might be really good with technology and can teach your loved one with devices. Your loved one will build skills from every caregiver. You will build skills watching them work with your loved one and learn different interests your loved one might have. Great caregivers can introduce new and exciting activities you would never have imagined doing yourself.
Diversify by Hiring Caregivers from Different Communities.
Say you hire individuals from a local college. Remember that the number one quality you want in a caregiver is someone who wants to work with your loved one. What about when everyone is in finals week? Try to diversify your caregivers, so you can give caregivers time off for finals or a spring break with their families. Hire individuals from a local high school, church, age groups, etc. You want your loved one to learn some flexibility to respect others’ personal lives.
Write A Bio About Your Loved One
Help your caregiver succeed by onboarding them well. Write a bio about your loved one with a disability. Add to the bio at different times in your week, include important information but also include interests they have. Ask others to contribute to the bio. You will be impressed by what your caregivers will teach you about your loved one. Let them know the basics about any condition or special accommodations they may need. You can also use this bio to share with teachers to get to know your loved one with a disability better. You will use this bio to onboard every new caregiver.
Hiring Paperwork With Giv.care
Set up your account with Giv.care click here. When someone says they are interested in working with your loved one, refer them to Giv.care and we will take care of all the hiring, paperwork, and background checks. We will also handle payroll and withholdings. All of us at Giv.care want you to be able to focus on the things that are most important. When your caregiver starts working for your loved one through Giv.care, you will have all the information you need at your fingertips within the Giv.care app.
Prepare While Paperwork Gets Done
Start brainstorming and organize a bucket list of activities Start brainstorming and organize a bucket list of activities caregivers can do with your loved one. Gather what is needed for the activities. Painting fingernails? Soccer ball to kick around at the park with the park address on a card? Coloring book with favorite crayons? How about $5 for them to walk to the convenience store to buy a snack?
You won’t always know what your loved one will be in the mood for so be sure to prepare several different options.
Let your caregivers network with each other to share ideas or cover shifts if someone is not available.
Expectations of your Caregiver
The success of your caregiver is based on your expectations and willingness to train and communicate your needs.
Are your caregivers organizing all events with your loved one? They may not know what mood your loved one may be in when they arrive. Did you know you can help their transition to a caregiver be successful?
Remind your loved one they have a caregiver coming at a particular time in the day. You might even want to start a visual calendar. Put a picture of the caregiver on the calendar they can expect.
Remind caregivers that being late can set your loved ones in the wrong mood. My son Luke would sit in a dining room chair facing right out the window waiting for his caregiver. If a caregiver was late they had to watch out when they arrived. Luke would be sour and the first 45 minutes all he could talk about with them was that they were late. No excuse would placate the wrong done for him.
Try to propose three different activities to present the day before the caregiver comes. Have you noticed that your loved one transitions better a day before they need to participate in something?
I might propose three different activities for the caregiver and loved one to do. Hopefully one of the three activities can be something they can engage in or they can brainstorm their own idea.
Activity ideas: cooking, shopping for food, theater movie, park, walk to a convenience store or the gas station to get a snack, ride the bus,
Did you know when you had a loved one with a disability that you would learn a gift to train others how to work with them? It’s another skill set that you didn’t expect to learn right?
Well now is the time to learn how to train caregivers with your loved one. Subscribe to our mailing list to get all the tips!
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