At a minimum, you should set expectations with your caregiver regarding the services you need, scheduling, communication and reality. It’s important to directly set your expectations with your home care agency before home care services commence. You may also need to reaffirm your expectations each time a new caregiver attends your home to provide services, and you should periodically review, revisit and revise your expectations from your home care provider and individual caregivers.

Caregiver Expectations: Conduct and Character

When appointing a caregiver who enters your home to provide services, it’s vital that you choose a trustworthy and reliable in-home care provider that adequately vets and trains all home care aides. A basic expectation is that aides respect your home and don’t intentionally or negligently put you or your property in harm’s way. Detail how a caregiver should enter and secure your home, for example by using lockbox entry and always closing doors behind them. Also specify any areas of your home that are generally out of bounds.

In terms of conduct and character, other expectations you may want to make clear include those related to:

  • Punctuality
  • Cleanliness and personal hygiene
  • Reliability
  • Communication
  • Respect
  • Dignity
  • Privacy
  • Honesty
  • Attentiveness

Essentially, you should feel confident that you can expect an in-home aide to treat you with dignity and respect your privacy, arrive on time when expected or communicate any issues in advance, be clean and neatly presented and communicate clearly with you and your loved ones.

Caregiver Expectations: Service Delivery and Skills

It’s essential to clearly define the services you need and how an aide should perform them. Practically, your personalized care plan is the starting point for detailing expectations related to services, setting out exactly what services an aide needs to perform, such as:

  • Assistance with dressing
  • Assistance with bathing
  • Help with using the toilet
  • Assistance eating
  • Incontinence care
  • Medication reminders
  • Light housework
  • Laundry
  • Meal preparation

It’s likely that some services, such as personal care and eating, will be constant every day, while others, such as laundry and domestic duties, will be carried out according to a specified schedule.

Set expectations related to skill and training; it’s important that caregivers are competent and confident in providing the services expected of them.

If your needs change, readjust your expectations, clearly communicating and agreeing on any changes with your home care provider. Ongoing, if your expectations aren’t being met, contact your home care company to discuss service improvement.