When looking for a carer, what is important to you?
A caregiver should be punctual and have your best interests in mind. I want to know that he or she is someone I can trust and with whom I will be able to form a long-term relationship. I don’t want to see another person wandering around my own home every week – trust in-home carers is hard for me to form, but it remains long-term.
How do you usually look for a suitable carer?
Theoretically, the state should provide us with a caregiver now that we are retired. But I generally ask my staircase neighbors, they still know young people who could be useful. As my pension is small, I can’t afford to use specialist companies, as they charge high rates.
Which people are involved in the process of selecting your carers and what is their specific role for each of them?
I live alone. My children are abroad, they don’t visit me, we rarely talk on the phone. I make all the decisions myself. I’m old and it’s very difficult for me to get around, so any help from a carer is helpful.
How do you know what qualifications and skills a caretaker needs for the job you are offering?
I want her to be a clean person. Hygiene and seriousness are essential. I don’t know what certificates are required, but if she can help me with the cleaning, talk to me and help me with trips to the pharmacy, that’s good enough for me. Anyway, my pension doesn’t allow me to have high expectations.
How satisfied are you with the ambulatory care services available in your area?
I collaborate with The Care Hub. I like the lady who sends me a lady weekly to clean. Communication is good, but I could use more visits. Maybe in the future, the state will pay for these services. After a lifetime of paying taxes, now I want support from management.
What do you think is missing from the current care system?
Funding. Older people don’t have the money to support themselves, and carers go abroad because they earn more there. I know it would be normal for my family to help me, but my children are away and they don’t give me a penny.
What channels do you use for recruitment?
They do not use technology for recruitment purposes. I only read online newspapers and talk to people I know on the phone. I don’t know where I could find carers to help me. I would really like to know about more services like The Care Hub.
Have you ever had an unpleasant/offensive incident with a nurse/carer? What made you feel uncomfortable? How did you deal with this situation?
Yes, one time a caregiver came to me and although I had paid her to stay for two hours, she stayed for almost nothing in that time. After she left and I went to see if she had cleaned the terrace, it was still full of dust and cobwebs. I felt like I had given the money away for nothing. I called the company and made a complaint. I said I would continue the collaboration, only if they sent me another lady for the next visit.
How do you make sure there is no bullying/abuse? What do you think is important to prevent bullying/abuse?
As an old woman, I have to constantly make sure that peaceful people enter my house. I don’t want any conflicts to arise and even less, the caretaker to assault me. I’m small in stature and I walk with a frame. My legs hurt and I get tired if I stand for a long time.
I believe that abuses can be prevented by a strict recruitment process, where you check the person, how he is, more important than what qualifications he has.
Would you use an app (either on your phone or computer) to recruit a carer?
I’m not good with technology. I would only use it if someone would teach me. However, I prefer to call a phone number and have a caregiver sent to me. I don’t trust putting my data on the internet. I don’t know who has access to it and prefer to (ideally) communicate with the person directly. I like Oana. She helps me with the technical side, but I wish they wouldn’t change partners so often.
How much personal support is needed to make you feel comfortable with an app?
Someone should help me. Ideally, after/before each visit, someone would be at my house to schedule my next visit. I prefer the phone in favor of technology.
What information do you want to see from an online tool?
I want to meet the person. To understand what they can and cannot do. I want to work with a responsible person who is dedicated to caring and who is, if possible, only distributed to me. I am a person who treats caregivers as if they were my children, so I collaborate well. I want the tool to have a help button, where I press and someone to help me if I can’t manage to place a visit. For me the most important thing is to have human interaction throughout the process of booking a caregiver, Ideally I would like to be able to pay once a month.
What would be important for the online recruitment tool to make it reliable for you?
As I don’t use technology, I wouldn’t know what to offer as feedback. I think you should be able to see the caregiver. Talk to him/her before they come to my house.