Now that your family has discussed home care and decided it's a good fit for your parents, how do you make it work? The biggest concern is your mom's little dog. The dog isn't mean, but it's shy with strangers. What helps introduce family pets to a new home care aide?
Make Sure the Caregiver is Comfortable With Animals
If your mom has a dog, make sure the caregiver that comes to the house is comfortable with dogs. If she has a cat, make sure the caregiver isn't allergic or scared of cats. If the caregiver is fearful, it can make introductions harder to manage.
Arm the Caregiver With a Gift
When the caregiver enters the house, having a small treat or gift in hand helps ease a pet into an introduction. Have a basket of favorite toys or dog treats at the door. The caregiver has something the dog loves, which makes the dog more likely to approach eagerly.
Don't Be Afraid to Separate the Dog at First
Monitor the introduction and make sure the dog is praised for good behavior. If the dog barks or doesn't follow commands, the dog needs to be put in a room or crated for a few minutes to calm down first. Wait until the caregiver settles in and try again.
Work at a Cat's Pace
Cats can be aloof. Don't force a meeting. If the cat is shy, let it come out when it wants to. The caregiver can ignore the cat at first and wait until the cat is ready to meet. Make sure you tell the caregiver if the cat likes being picked up as not all cats do.
Have the Meeting Take Place Outside
Bring the dog outside on a leash on neutral grounds. Walk around the yard or up and down the street with the caregiver. When the dog settles down, walk towards the house and walk inside together.
Keep Your Parents Involved in the Hiring Decisions
What else should you be doing to make the transition to home care go smoothly? If you've let your parents be part of the decision-making process, it's going to help. Let them ask questions when you call a home care agency to make arrangements.
For the first few days, be in their home working from a den or bedroom. If questions or problems arise, you're nearby to help, but you're not in the way. Your parents may be more comfortable and cooperative if they know you're close by.
If you or an aging loved one are considering non-medical in-home care in Scarsdale and Yonkers, NY, call Griswold Home Care
and speak to one of our caring staff members today. Call (914) 768-9065