fbpixel In Conversation with Laurette Foggini | Home Care Industry Expert

Home Care Expert Insights

In Conversation with Laurette Foggini to Bring Her Insights on Hiring Caregivers for Elderly Care

Aging affects a person in different ways. The body becomes physically weak, reactions become slow, muscles lose their strength, and organs become less efficient- causing an overall decline in the body’s well-being.

While older adults may try to manage everything with their diminished physical and cognitive abilities, they’re sure to experience a loss of independence and instability in their social life. And, this leads to added responsibilities for families who look for ways of supporting their loved ones while managing their lives.

Here, in-home caregivers step in to take roles of support and care for the elderly who not only assist them with Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) but also offer companionship. To maximize quality care, families must ensure hiring the right caregiver according to their senior needs.

To shed some light on the same, we interviewed a home care industry expert to bring her perspective on assisting families and caregivers with elderly care.

Expert QA session with Laurette Foggini

Who Did We Interview?

Laurette Foggini is a family caregiver, an elder care consultant, and a celebrated author of children’s books on caregiving. The Song in Lola’s Heart and The Tale of a Hero I Know are some of her notable collections.

Laurette is an expert in elder care solutions who’s working closely with families and elder care professionals for developing solutions to care for seniors. She’s managed a network of team members for delivering quality non-medical care and has built effective relationships with community members for expanding services and growing a client base.

Let’s get started with knowing what our expert thinks of the home care industry:

Question 1: What, according to you, should families do when hiring a caregiver for their elderly?

Hiring an in-home caregiver for your elderly loved ones can be daunting, especially when they’ve never had a caregiver by their side before. For effective hiring, make sure to dive deep into what you and your loved one might require, some of which may be:

  • The needs and personalities of your loved ones and be real!
  • Know your budget. Use this to maximize the coverage.
  • What is the best schedule for you and the care recipient? And then be flexible – what may be best for you, might not be a suitable schedule for a caregiver.
  • Understand the transportation options for caregivers to commute to your home. If public transportation is limited, your pool of caregivers is limited.
  • Check with friends and colleagues if they can recommend a private caregiver or a good caregiving agency.
  • Define the expectations you have for the caregiver. Prioritize your expectations- which ones are Must Haves and which are Nice to Haves.

To ensure quality care for your loved one, don’t forget to treat the caregivers as the kind, compassionate, reliable people you expect them to be. And then have a backup plan if they are not.

Question 2: How can caregivers maintain the independence and dignity of the elderly and their families when providing care?

  • Understand what the care recipient enjoys doing and what might be more difficult for them.
  • Ask what techniques have worked in the past around the challenging tasks (i.e. music helps with anxiety, mom likes to sleep in, call her by her first name).
  • Always speak directly to the care recipient. Explain what you are doing to help them. Ask if it’s OK. Back off if the recipient is uncomfortable. Focus on the relationship over the task.

Question 3: How can caregivers prevent burnout and manage their work-personal life?

Preventing caregiver burnout is really essential for maintaining a sound work-life balance. In my opinion, some tips that help you keep calm while offering quality care to seniors are:

  • Prioritize yourself and schedule time with the people and activities that make you happy.
  • If you enjoy exercise, but can’t travel to the gym or leave the house, online exercise is a great alternative.
  • Join social media groups to stay connected. A few new sites in beta include www.mycarefriends.com and www.carecopilot.co. There are also a large number of support groups both online and in person.
  • Ask for help. When caring for someone, people may not know how to help. Make sure it’s something the person is comfortable doing. For example, it may be dropping off groceries versus watching your loved one.

All these tips are sure to keep you, as a caregiver rejuvenated while providing care to an older adult.

Question 4: How can I help my aging parents from afar?

Visit to assess the situation. When you cannot visit, try to set up video calls so you can physically see your Loved Ones (check out www.sociavi.com which is an option for those technically challenged in the video calling the department.) Build your local care community or recruit a local family member or good friend to help out.

Families can prioritize care by keeping their elderly safe, some of which are:

  • Use a geriatric care manager to be your eyes and ears locally.
  • Try to take over bill paying and go paperless.
  • Sign the care recipient up for an advanced Do Not Call list to avoid scams.
  • Check in often via phone, send cards, and ask people you know to visit or call.
  • Get a Power of Attorney in place for medical and financial purposes so you can speak on your loved ones’ behalf when needed. If they don’t have these documents in place, contact an eldercare attorney. If they do have them, make sure you have a copy readily available.
  • Meet the people in their lives – ie. Neighbors, doctors, lawyers, financial planners. They should all know who you are and how to contact them.

These tips can ensure that your elderly adult is safe and in the comforts of their homes.

Question 5: What advice do you give to new family caregivers?

The Number 1 advice that works excellently well in my opinion for new family caregivers is – Don’t Forget to Make time for yourself. Stay in touch with your family and friends so they understand what you are going through and reach out to contact support groups whenever necessary.

In Essence

While hiring a professional caregiver for respite purposes gives you time to recharge, it is vital to know your older adult’s requirements well ahead of time. Hiring a caregiver takes time and patience, so plan ahead and be flexible.

Our expert, Laurette, agrees that managing day-to-day responsibilities when caring for a loved one can be daunting. However, the right attitude can help you overcome all the challenges and give you time to focus on a positive caring relationship.

Want to contribute to our expert insights for the 'Home Care Q/A' series?

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Want to contribute to our expert insights for the 'Home Care Q/A' series?

Contact Us

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