Host Zack Demopoulos recently attended a ComForCare national conference and had the opportunity to speak with quite a few owners and operators of ComForCare home care agencies from all over this continent. He shares some great tips from these passionate providers that come from their experience of hiring many caregivers in these series.
In this episode he interviews Alois and Wilbert Smith who own and operate a ComForCare home care agency in Saginaw Michigan.
This show is sponsored by ComForCare, a national home care provider that will help you live your best life possible.
In previous Episode 26 and Episode 27 Zack discussed hiring home care to help you care for a family loved one so that they can continue to live at home independently and safely. Home Care is Day 17 of the 30 Day Preparation Plan to care for an aging adult.
Alois begins talking about how important honesty and trust is when hiring a caregiver and an agency.
Integrity and trust are not the only values and experiences Alois and Wilbert bring into their agency. They have real experiences caring for many family members of their own. Caregivers who have experience caring for their own family tend to be some of the best caregivers and home care providers I have come across. These experiences inspired Alois and Wilbert to start their own home care agency.
Wilbert and Alois did not know about the home care industry and Alois found out through a SBA career coaching session when they conducted a personal background evaluation, they found they were a good match for this industry. They have helped care for two grandfathers, three great grandmothers, and three grandmothers.
Alois talks about Wilbert's mother who had end stage Alzheimers compounded with a UTI and then hospitalized and placed in a rehab refusing to eat and drink.
Fortunately Wilbert's mother had a directive which guided her children on how to handle situations like this.
Alois share that a directive was in place that legally gave the children directions on how to handle decision on her behalf in case she couldn’t.
Zack asks Alois were there any signs that she saw back then or now after the fact that might help caregivers look for? Alois shares how Wilbur’s mom was a meticulous recordkeeper used a notebook on a monthly basis and a calendar on a daily basis to keep records.
Zack asks Wilbert how does he think family members can find home care providers like them, people with family experience, but also care a lot about what they do. Wilbert suggests that you meet with a home care agency in person and you can determine if they really care by the way they communicate with you and take in what you are sharing with them.
Wilbert says that eye to eye is the best way to interview a home care agency and caregiver, not over the phone.
Wibert says that the best question to start off an “eye to eye” conversation is “What do you do?”. Are they meticulous about hiring caregivers, do they have a process that they expose the caregiver to make sure they meet their standards, they have a resemblance of integrity that though they are not there watching them, they are going to do the right thing.
Wilbert advises in order to avoid a crisis, be observant in the (care recipient’s) environment and look for things as simple as trip hazards to prevent falls.
Alois: Being observant is critical. We could have intervened earlier with Wilbur’s mom if we had seen how about her notebook taking had gotten.
Wilbert: You need to have another family member with you because they may see something you missed.
This was Episode 31. Join us as we continue the series for the next episode where we continue talking about hiring a caregiver to help you care for a family loved one.