A major reason home care clients prefer licensed in-home care agencies is an agency’s ability to find just the right caregiver for that client. How does an agency go about doing that?
Part of the answer is purely practical matters such as schedule availability, skills, experience, necessary certifications, and geography. We won’t assign a caregiver without dementia experience to a client with dementia. We won’t assign a caregiver who lives in Enumclaw to a client who lives in Everett! Other practical matters include languages spoken, driving ability, and the willingness of the caregiver to deal with certain particular circumstances such as pets, smoking, or hoarding behavior. If an agency can match client to caregiver in all of these, bravo. But that’s not enough as there’s also an art to home care staffing – matching personalities.
When a supervisor first meets a new client, she performs a clinical assessment. The supervisor is determining care needs in order to write a care plan with the goal of being able to match the skills required with an appropriate caregiver. But the supervisor is also listening and asking questions to help them decide which caregiver this client might “click” with. For example, some clients want someone who is warm and talkative, others are quieter and value their privacy. Some clients mesh better with an independent thinker and self-starter while others prefer a more traditional employer/employee relationship.
If the staffing process works well, the client and caregiver will match in all the practical matters and develop a strong relationship based upon mutual trust and respect. And sometimes the relationship doesn’t work and we send someone else.
An experienced and skilled caregiver can develop that trusting and respectful relationship with a wide variety of people. We can assign them virtually anywhere because they have both top caregiving skills along with that ability to be able to “click” with just about anyone.
The larger the agency, the more caregivers that agency will have to increase the chances that the agency will have someone in the right geographic area with the skills, availability, and personality that will match with the client.