Finding the Right Care Giver-Care Seeker Match

The primary goal of a professional caregiver is to provide the best possible care and the highest quality of life for the care recipient. Finding the right care seeker-caregiver match will put you well on your way to making this happen.

It goes without saying that care seekers need to carefully evaluate potential caregivers – experience, salary expectations, special skills, personality, availability - but it’s just as important for care givers to evaluate their potential employer. Trust me; both parties will be glad they did!

Those who go into professional care giving tend to do so because they want to do something meaningful by taking care of those who can’t always take care of themselves. When I asked a friend of mine from graduate school why she decided to go into this line of work she said:

“…it makes me feel like I am making a difference in the world, even if it is a small difference.”

My friend is the epitome of a good caregiver. She is empathic, a good communicator, flexible, committed, patient, and has a good sense of humor to boot. All of these are important attributes that care seekers look for in potential care givers. But at the same time, caregivers should ask the right questions to ensure the relationship is the right fit.

Caregivers have to understand and evaluate the preferences of the person who will be receiving care. Does the recipient feel more comfortable with a caregiver who comes from a similar cultural background? And is he or she more comfortable with a female caregiver or a male caregiver? The latter may be an important question if the position involves personal care such as dressing, bathing and toileting.

While care seekers tend to focus on what they need – and you can’t really blame them – don’t forget about what the care giver needs. Employment is an agreement between two equal parties whose needs must be met if the match is going to be lasting and successful. The most important thing to remember is that everyone is working toward the same goal: providing the best care for the person who needs it.


I have a Bachelor's of Science w/a double major in Gerontology. I had worked as a hairdresser for seventeen years prior to returning to school. I'm not someone who is hung up or needs to make a lot of money. I prioritized a healthy environment, good people and personal safety (free of harassment) over money. I feel strongly that care giving requires some give and take, depending on what one has to give and the requires. Healthy relationship's require some equality and, of course, respect. Money is a necessity for survival and anyone who thinks more about it than the quality of the relationship will probably struggle more than bask in the labor of love and life.

Posted by NancyKulka | September 27, 2009 06:35pm | login to reply
caregiver match
Hi Amanda, You shared some great advice. The caregiver and the care recipient don't always click. It's important to remember that it is a partnership and if the two primary people involved don't connect with each other then that partnership isn't going to work. If possible, it's a good idea to do a trial run and have the caregiver and the care recipient spend a day together before making any permanent decisions.

Posted by admin | September 25, 2009 11:53pm | login to reply

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