There were so many things that my mother liked about her previous senior care provider, Wilma, but she could no longer be there for my mother and we had to find someone new to take care of her. We didn’t know where to start because Wilma had been a friend of a friend and she was great.
I started through a senior care referral service and that put me in touch with a few agencies in the area. Since we didn’t know anyone else personally who could help my mother, I knew that it was best to hire through an agency. I finally found one who seemed to be level headed, sincere, compassionate, and most importantly experienced.
During the first visit, before ‘Eileen’ came into my mother’s home for the first time, I met her outside. I wanted to know how she planned to work with my mother and help her feel comfortable. I told her that she was leery of a new senior care provider because the last one had been great and she was simply nervous.
Eileen told me that the first thing she would do would be to sit down with her and talk. She would find out what my mother’s interests were, share some of her own experiences, and help to build a positive rapport with her.
Once she felt that my mother was more comfortable with her, then they would talk about the process, what my mother preferred and Eileen might make a few suggestions that could help out, but she wasn’t there to control my mother; she was there to support her.
Within an hour, I noticed that my mother was getting more comfortable with Eileen. Through the next couple of days, they talked a lot about their respective lives and the things that they had done. There was no real pressure from Eileen and I thought that was important.
Eventually, Eileen brought in a couple of other caregivers from the senior home services agency because she knew there might be times when she wouldn’t be able to see my mother and it was best that my mother get to know some of the potential substitutes, to become comfortable with them in Eileen’s presence.
This was a good idea, but I know not all agencies have the resources to do that. My mother adjusted well to Eileen, in large part because of the efforts that Eileen made in understanding that it was a difficult change for her to accept.