"Truly Loving Care": Choosing a Professional Caregiver

Dorian Martin Health Guide
  • Recently, I have been having conversations with a friend about his mother. The friend and his wife have made the important decision to buy a new home in order to have his elderly mother move in with them.

    Soon after everyone had moved into the new residence, I got a call from my friend. His mother previously had lived in another city, so he and his wife had not seen the mother on a daily basis. Now that they were interacting regularly, the couple discovered that the mother was displaying some signs of dementia. The couple – both busy professionals – realized that they needed additional help, but they didn’t know where to turn. I didn’t have the expertise to know how to help, but knew of some other friends who do.
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    So Bob and Anna entered the picture. Both are busy professionals who also have assumed the primary caregiver role in three separate instances. In the first case, Anna brought her mother to live with them before the mother passed away. In addition, Bob and Anna have been the primary caretakers for two different elderly neighbors who experienced dementia. One of those neighbors, a widow who lived in the house directly behind Bob and Anna’s during the entire time of her illness, died of complications from Alzheimer’s earlier in the year.

    My friend and his wife met with Bob and Anna to ask all sorts of questions related to caregiving. Anna was able to advise my friend and his wife about the qualities to look for in hiring a professional caregiver. She even helped my friend obtain the services of one of the professionals who had assisted their neighbor who just died.

    This recent episode has helped me realize how important this particular caregiving issue is. Often we don’t think about what type of assistance we will need to support a loved one with Alzheimer’s until the issue has almost become an emergency. With more and more people thinking about having elderly family members live with them, finding a good professional caregiver can be a real challenge. Taking the time to think through what type of person you will need is critical because this person must create a stabile and safe environment for your loved one, especially as Alzheimer’s Disease progresses.

    What qualities do you look for? I had the opportunity to visit with Bob and Anna about this very question. After a brainstorming session of qualities, they developed an acronym: TRULY LOVING CARE. Each letter symbolizes a quality that is necessary in someone you are considering hiring to work with your loved one.

    In the next three blogs, I’ll share the qualities that make up each of those words. Stay tuned to learn how to select a caregiver you TRULY want.

Published On: August 01, 2006