The demand for elderly care is increasing year by year in Singapore’s new norm of the aging population. By 2035, approximately 32% of Singaporeans will be 65 years old and above, accounting for one-third of the population, according to Statista. As a result, one out of five families in Singapore will employ a full-time maid, mostly by dual-income parents and a rising ageing population.
Full-time maids have become important to ensure the smooth running of many Singaporean families. You may send your elderly to the aged homes, senior day care center or hire an elderly caregiver. However, the expenses for these options are costly and could become a burden financially.
With a starting salary of at least $450 per month, you can hire a maid permanently to take care of your elderly. This could be the best and most cost-effective solution. Besides taking care and accompanying your elderly, she can also manage the household chores and cook for your family. Furthermore, you can send your maid to eldercare training courses to equip them with relevant skills in providing the best home care for your elderly.
In this article, we would like to share with you a few good traits that employers should look for when hiring a maid to take care of your loved elderly.
What must a maid have in taking care of elderly?
Trustworthy, Good Ethics and Caring
Most of the time, a person’s qualities far outweigh any other skills. Of course, skills are still important. However, they can eventually be polished with the right training and practices, therefore they are no longer dominant over everything else. You can detect these personality traits in potential maids as early as possible when you interview them. You can judge their communication style and how do they cope with different situations by asking them relevant questions. You may also review their working history by contacting their previous employers. You may refer our article on “Questions To Ask When Interviewing A Maid” to get an idea of what to ask when interviewing your potential maids.
As most elderly are forgetful and unable to take care of themselves properly, so a maid must be polite, respectful and compassionate. These are most likely the most important characteristics of a maid who is willing to do eldercare. She must be able to handle all situations with care and patience, as well as optimism. A pleasant and smiling personality exudes positive energy and maintains a peaceful environment, which is needed by all elderly people.
Compassion, Patience and Attentive
Some elderly may not have anyone to talk to, and this make them to feel rejected and isolated. Therefore, they are likely to become more sentimental, sometimes stubborn, sometimes rambling, and, at times, very angsty. Seniors sometimes exhibit some common behavioural traits with children. They are more receptive to stories than logical explanations. At such times, explaining things with a storytelling mindset can be more productive.
Thus, a maid can learn to infuse humour, joy, little stories and poetic understanding of life and the surroundings within a conversation. These are healthy way to appease the elderly to listen and understand better, which could ensure their overall happy positive moods.
Aside from that, paying attention to the elderly’s cultural and religion, preferences and special habits are essential. You must discuss such sensitive issues in advance with both your elderly parents and maids in order to avoid any conflict and discomfort in the future. There may also be some sensitive topics on the maid’s cultural background that she might not feel comfortable doing.
Medication Administration and First Aid Knowledge
The elderly often unable to remember how many pills they should take or whether they have taken the pill for the day, thus they need someone to remind them and administer them at the appropriate times and intervals. If the elderly does not take or takes too much medicine, this can become a life-or-death situation. Therefore, they need their family members or a maid to keep track of them and assist in giving them medicines on time and at the correct regular intervals.
Maids must take on this responsibility to ensure that the elderly take their medication and do not skip it as working adults in the household might be absent for most of the day. So, maids are expected to have knowledge with drugs, prescriptions and typical ways to administer them. Make sure she is aware of what medications the elderly should take, when they should take them and what to be aware of in terms of any special medication treatments, side effects and/or dietary requirements.
Sending your maid to a first aid course might be beneficial as her primary responsibility is to take care of the elderly. Your maid can provide effective first aid to your elderly when an emergency occurs, such as when an elderly chokes or bleeds a lot, before an ambulance arrives. Furthermore, you should also let your maid know what actions should she take and where should she go in the event of an emergency. Make a list of important contact information, such as Police, Fire and Ambulance, Non-emergency ambulance and place it somewhere visible in the house where she can easily refer to when an emergency occurs.
Good Listener Skills
Maintain a polite demeanour and paying more attention to elderly is the best way to make things easier for them. They will occasionally start shouting or expressing anger over trivial issues. So, it is advisable to always give them a fair hearing whenever they express an opinion or discuss anything. If your full-time maid is polite, understanding accommodating and paying attention to your elderly, they will feel more at ease and loved.
Effective Time Management and Organising Skills
Taking care of the elderly while managing day-to-day household chores can be difficult at times. These tasks will be easier to complete if she has good time management and organising skills. Not to mention that the elderly’s medication must be administered at the right timing with the appropriate amount. It’s a blessing to have found a maid who has great organising skills, but if you can’t, don’t worry because there is always a solution to everything. To prevent your maid from forgetting important tasks as well as boosting her housekeeping productivity, you can create a To-Do-List or Weekly Schedule for her.
Taking care of an elderly is can be emotionally complex and difficult. There are not a lot of people anticipate this task and some even deny that it will occur. However, a mishap in the bathroom or a doctor’s diagnosis can unexpectedly thrust grown-up children into the role of caregivers. We recommend you to hire a full-time maid to assist you with an extra pair of hands because caring for the elderly is different and often requires specific skills and a lot of patience.