What do I need to know before I hire a domestic helper for my elderly parents?
|The relationship between your elderly parents and the domestic helper who cares for them is impactful and significant. We have outlined a few tips to take you through the hiring and management of a domestic worker for elderly care.
This guide is should be read along with ‘The quick guide for Employers of Domestic Helpers’
How to search for the right domestic helper?
1. Come up with a list of priorities before starting the search: Every elderly person has specific needs. It is important to list out these needs before you start looking for domestic helper For example,
2. Do an Interview with the potential candidates: You can ask questions related to the goals set and set accurate expectations for the domestic helper.
3. Involve the primary recipient of care in the hiring process. Hiring help for your elderly family member could raise feelings of lack of independence or dignity in them. Involving them will help them feel ownership in the process, and will help them accept the change in home dynamics.
4. The personality match of the domestic helper and the elderly person should not be disregarded! They will be spending a lot of time together, personality compatibility will improve their communication and trust, and also how they manage their daily schedules together. It is more important to hire for attitude than for experience as skills can be taught.
How to prepare for the domestic helper?
1. Talk to your parents/ recipients of the care to ensure that they are ready to be living with and be taken care of by the domestic helper. This change can sometimes lead to a feeling of lack of independence and it will take time for the elderly person to get used to living with a stranger so mental and practical preparation is critical to smoothen the transition.
2. In a multi-generational household, it is important for all family members to know the roles and responsibilities of a new domestic helper. For example, who will be the one directly giving feedback to the helper and who will be deciding on the daily schedule.
3. If needed, offer necessary training on their working days to fill in any skill gaps such as first aid.
4. Prepare for the co-worker: Do you have a current domestic helper? Prepare them for another helper coming into the house and create clear communication paths. They may need to take care of the eldery person together.
How to build a long term relationship with domestic helper?
1. Train the new domestic helper so she/ he knows the roles and responsibilities from the start. If possible, involve the elderly person.
2. You may have to mitigate any conflicts that may arise with this new dynamic at home. It would be good to do regular check in with helpers so they could speak up their needs and concerns.
3. Taking care of the elderly could be challenging. Through the course of the employment, be empathetic to the needs of the domestic helper. This could be in the need of guidance for work, need for appreciation when deserved, timely breaks or anything else that may come up.
Organisations providing support to Elderly care in Hong Kong
Social Welfare Department
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