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Best Practices and Tips for Scheduling Caregivers

caregiver calendar

Best Practices and Tips for Scheduling Caregivers

The best practices and tips for scheduling begin with the following: 
  • Knowing your caregivers and establishing a trusting relationship with them 
  • Understanding their working needs and preferences
  • Understanding the type of client(s) they are comfortable working with
  • Understanding the type of client(s) they are uncomfortable working with
  • Knowing their strengths, weaknesses, likes, and dislikes
  • Understanding their goals and respecting their personal lives
  • Understanding their scheduling needs

The key in providing exceptional care to our clients starts with providing exceptional care to our caregivers.  

The primary goal in scheduling caregivers is to establish compassionate working relationships between both client and caregiver.  There are many factors to consider in establishing these relationships as they are individualized to meet the needs of both the caregiver and the client.  Learning the backgrounds, personalities, and caregiving skills of each caregiver helps to determine which caregiver is best fit for each client.  In regards to the scheduling process, it is particularly important to understand the working needs, wants, and preferences of every caregiver.  Each caregiver has a specific set of working hours that they are available to work and these hours can vary caregiver to caregiver, day to day, and week to week.  For example, some caregivers are able to work overnight shifts any day of the week, while others can only work between 9a-2p on Mondays and Wednesdays; some caregivers may only be available to work 12 hour shifts every other Saturday and Sunday, while some are available every weekend.  

In creating a caregiving team for a client, the first step begins with learning the needs and personality of the client, along with the preferred schedule they would like to begin with.  Some clients need full personal care, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, while other clients may request companionship services three times a week from 9am – 1pm.   Both of these schedules are very different, and require different skills sets and different caregivers.  Scheduling truly begins with matching a caregiver’s skill set to the client’s need, while also matching a caregiver’s working availability to the client’s preferred schedule.  

Other factors that impact the matching process include:

  • Does the client have any pets? Some caregivers are allergic to animals, or prefer not to work with a client who has pets.  These are all considered during the scheduling process.
  • Where does the client live?  Some caregivers are only able to work in Cary, while others will work in Cary, Raleigh, and Apex.
  • Does the client need personal care, companion care, or a mix? Our caregivers have very different and unique skill sets, some of which are strictly companion care.
  • Does the client have their own vehicle or would they need the caregiver to drive them?  Some caregivers are willing to transport a client in their own vehicle and some are not willing to do so.
  • Will the client need to make adjustments on certain days due to appointments?  Some caregivers have personal schedules that are flexible day to day, so they are able to adjust their schedule to accommodate appointments.  Some caregivers are not able to make accommodations due to other jobs, childcare, etc.
  • What are the client’s personal preferences? Some clients prefer very talkative, and engaging caregivers, whereas other clients would rather have a caregiver who is quiet.
  • Is the family involved in the client’s care?  This factors into the scheduling arrangement and the consistency of caregivers scheduled.

Although only a few are mentioned here, there are many other dynamics that can affect the schedule in relation to caregiver consistency and availability. 

Once you have created a caregiving team for a client, continual follow up is paramount to ensure that the client’s needs are being met and that the caregivers are implementing the plan of care appropriately.  At the same time, it is just as important to ensure the caregivers’ needs are being met, that they enjoy working with their client, and that their schedule works in their favor.  

You can think of scheduling like a putting together a bunch of puzzle pieces in just the right way.  Each piece plays a vital role and each piece has its rightful place.   

Exceptional care begins with having all of the pieces in their rightful place.  

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