When looking for a caregiver, what is important to you?
Little things like personal introductions, greetings and communication are important to me. For example, when a caregiver meets me for the first time, they inform themself about my health condition and needs by talking to me and through my medical history.
How do you usually look for a suitable caregiver? From whom or where do you take advice in terms of which caregiver to choose?
You must know that I was on sea for 40 years and always did everything on board myself. My wife passed away years ago. I therefore see myself as a very independent person and only use Spitex for my support stockings. If I could no longer live independently, I would enter an old people’s home. However, assuming that I would ask someone for help with a selection process of a caregiver, it would be my sister-in-law or people from the neighborhood. My sister-in-law, who worked as a certified caregiver, made me aware of Spitex years ago. At that time, it was still called the nursing association. Since then, I have been a member and have been paying annual fees for years and also organize my caregivers through this organization. Realistically, though, I could also do my own research on Google.
How do you know what qualifications and competencies a caregiver needs for the job position you are offering?
Since I organize myself through Spitex, I assume that the employment contract between the caregiver and Spitex is already sufficiently convincing. Most of them have either learned about care through Spitex or have training in the care sector. If it were not Spitex or a similar association, I would have to check on the internet myself.
What do you need to feel comfortable with a caregiver?
Of course, trust is a key issue, especially because organizations like Spitex have different people working for them. First impressions count here. I consider smiles, positive behavior, and greetings to be very important. Of course, I am aware that care professionals have a lot to do, but a smile and a short conversation can already help a lot to build trust.
How satisfied are you with the ambulant care services options you have at the moment (e.g. Spitex, Prosenectute, etc.)?
Well, so far, I’m very satisfied with the care services. The only downside is the excessive bureaucracy. In the past, when the care services were much smaller, everything was more accessible, more spontaneous, and more flexible. Back then, you also had a specific contact person. But now that most caregivers work part-time and the whole system has certainly become more complex.
What does the actual care system lack from your experience as a care receiver?
There is nothing wrong with our care system. I get everything I want if I know what I want. Also, in my function as a Red Cross driver, I see the diverse range of services, such as day centers, and I am very satisfied with them. Especially when you compare it with abroad, we have good conditions here. The only thing that could be improved is that the organizations such as Spitex are not always on schedule. If someone is late, they should call. I also have my fixed daily schedule and am not necessarily at home outside of the appointed time.
What current channels do you use to look for caregivers?
When looking for candidates, I inform myself either through my personal environment or via the internet. Accordingly, I don’t use any specific channel. I don’t see any disadvantages when it comes to searching on the internet. I really like the unrestricted search options. However, I could also imagine contacting doctors or rehab clinics and asking for their expertise.
Have you ever had an inconvenient/assaultive incident with a caregiver? What made you feel uncomfortable? How did you manage this situation?
I personally have never had a negative experience of any kind with a caregiver. But if something had happened, I would have just addressed it directly. Interpersonal communication is the key in all situations.
How do you ensure that no assaultive act takes place? What do you think is important for prevention in this regard?
I have heard of cases where caregivers have been harassed. I am not aware of the reverse case. What is important in both cases is that it is reported back to the respective organizations. So that structural adjustments can be made. Of course, it is difficult when someone is senile or weakened, for example. But a certain degree of self-responsibility is also essential here. Especially in the case of minor thefts – you shouldn’t leave money lying around.
Would you use an online tool for recruiting a caregiver? If yes, why? If not, why not? And in which part of the recruiting process (defining the care need, matching, selecting the caregiver) would you use it?
No, I would not use an app. I don’t want my personal information to be on the internet. There is also a lot of fake news on the internet. If it was just an initial search or a simple registration and was followed by a personal conversation, then it would be fine. Getting information is fine, but when it comes to speaking about future care work, I want to sit across from the person. It’s the same with Spitex. In my case, there was an initial meeting where everything was discussed. It’s much more pleasant to communicate with each other in person and not online.
How much human service is needed in order to make you comfortable with an online tool?
I am fundamentally uncomfortable with apps. I don’t trust this stuff enough. That’s my opinion. If the people I met through the app would come over and not everything would just be through the computer, then I would be more open.
What information would you want to get from an online tool (ex. qualifications, feedback from other families, personal details about the caregiver)?
I would first need an introduction – what care measures they offer and then make an appointment with them so that we can discuss everything. Of course, certificates would also be important, but only if they are verified to be real. I also find feedback from other care recipients informative. However, I am less interested in personal details. The name is enough for me, I will find out the rest at the first meeting. But it is important that I can state my illness/health condition beforehand so that the person can assess whether they have the qualifications for it.
What would be important for the online recruiting tool to make it trustworthy for you?
As I said, I’m suspicious. You must be very careful on the internet because anyone can hack into anything. That’s why I use e-banking as seldom as possible and only sign contracts in printed form. I need personal contact. Otherwise, I don’t feel comfortable with it.
How should an online tool ensure that no assaultive act takes place? What do you think is important for prevention in this regard?
Either way, it is important to have a low-threshold way of giving feedback, e.g., by phone, where people can share their experiences.
Is there anything else you would like to share with us?
Overly large organizations tend to be complicated and inflexible bureaucracies. However, simplicity, flexibility, transparency, open communication, and social competence are very important to me. For example, if a caregiver is running late, he or she should let me know. I know this from my work as a Red Cross driver: if plans change, I just call.