Why you should care: Immigrant caregivers are essential to in-home care
The caregiver that you find for your loved one, or that they find for themselves is one of the most important relationships they’ll have in their lives.
This person may not only clothe, feed and take your loved one to their appointments, but they also provide emotional support. The best relationships can turn into friendships.
During Immigrant Heritage Month this June, we want to highlight that immigrants make up a significant number of paid caregivers. Many of these workers are under appreciated and underpaid.
But we can change that, one company and one relationship at a time.
Let’s find out how to nurture those relationships from the very beginning, or how to make existing ones better.
Immigrant caregivers make up a huge share of their workforce
How we treat our caregivers will have a direct impact on the futures of our elderly.
In a past blog, we talked about how more than half of all seniors will need some sort of long-term care.
In 2017 there were 1 million immigrants providing direct care to the elderly and people with disabilities in the U.S. according to the organization PHI. Direct care includes home health, nursing and personal aide care.
And by 2030, the U.S. will need 3.5 million more of these workers to meet the demand of our aging population. according to research from Health Affairs.
Immigrant healthcare workers are often more educated than their American-born peers, but many of them don’t have the certification or licenses to work at higher professional levels due to financial costs.
When the pay is low and these workers aren’t treated with the respect they deserve, then they leave their jobs, making gaps in care when it’s needed most.
For families that work with a paid caregiver, it’s important for everyone to lay the groundwork for a healthy relationship.
How to have a good relationship with your caregiver
Whether you expect them to or not, caregivers become part of your family.
As we mentioned above, the relationship between a caregiver and your senior can be one of the most important in their lives.
That’s why it’s so important to start off on the right foot, but it’s also never too late for clear communication.
When you start researching in-home care companies, it’s a good idea to start with smaller businesses. They often have more transparency and interact with their caregivers on a daily basis.
First, sit down with your senior (if they’re up for the task) and come up with a list of tasks they could use help with throughout the day. Stay tuned for future SeaCare blog on determining the exact right care for you.
Then, come up with a list of qualities that you’re looking for in a caregiver.
Do you want a chatty caregiver, or someone more quiet to sit and read next to?
Would you like to work with someone who loves to garden and loves to play games, or someone who likes to take their clients out and about?
Working with an in-home care company gives you options in the type of care your senior deserves.
Then, you can speak with your care team about the best way to communicate with your loved one, such as any personality quirks the caregiver should be aware of.
Bond with your caregiver over their heritage
Your senior and caregiver come from different backgrounds and have very different life experiences.
And this is a good thing!
With mutual respect and good listening skills, you can lay the foundation for a healthy caregiving relationship.
Caregivers and their patients spend a lot of time together. Why not spend some of that time swapping stories?
If your parent is the one receiving the care, you can set out a photo album of any stage of their life to help tell the story. Encourage your caregiver to bring their own photos, whether digital or physical.
If you really want to set the stage, you or your caregiver could make some lemonade and cookies and set them out for swapping stories.
Finding a care team that you trust
We all know how important caregivers are to our loved ones health and happiness. That’s why working with the right care team is so important.
At SeaCare, we become an extension of your family. As a small company, we can personalize care. We’re with you every step of the way in the sometimes scary and overwhelming process of finding in-home care for seniors.
Regardless of what company you go with for in-home care, make sure you do your research and find one that treats their caregivers well.
The future of immigrant direct care workers will directly impact the future of our seniors in the U.S.
Why SeaCare is some of the best home care in Washington state
Nurturing our relationship with our caregivers is one of our top priorities.The better a caregiver is treated, the better our clients relationship will be with them.
We treat our caregivers with respect and pay them a living wage, which is why our turnover rate is much lower than other in-home care companies.
Better retention means that your loved one will have consistent, quality care they can rely on.
Check out the types of care we provide, or talk to a real human about care options by calling the number below.
If you or a loved one you know are looking for additional support during this time and are interested in scheduling a free in-home assessment, please contact SeaCare In-Home Care Services today! A SeaCare family member is standing by. 425-559-4339.