About Anglo Caregivers
When looking to hire a domestic helper to take care of your elderly parent or loved one with disability, you can choose to hire a normal maid from a maid agency ora maid training in elderly care from a caregiver agency. In this article, we will highlight 4 key differences between them to help you in making the best choice for your family.
The monthly basic salary for a maid from Indonesia or the Philippines is usually about $550- $620 if they have not worked in Singapore before. For a maid trained in elderly care, you would pay a slight premium, with monthly basic salary ranging from $560 - $630.
Training in Home Countries
Typically, a maid undergoes a training in domestic work in their home countries before their departure. Training in housework would normally include housekeeping, washing, ironing and preparing meals. They are not trained in how to take care of the elderly or persons with disabilities.
A trained maid in elderly care undergoes specific caregiver training at the overseas training centre before departure. These are aimed at teaching and preparing them on how to take care of a person with disabilities safely every day at home. These would include the following:
Is she Trained in Household Chores too?
Other than caring for the elderly person, a maid trained in the elderly care is expected to do chores for the elderly person such as doing his laundry, housekeeping and cooking for him. Usually, trained elderly care maids have prior experience as a domestic worker in their home countries or abroad. They have already undergone training and have experience performing these chores.
Willingness to Take Care of the Elderly
If given a choice, maids would usually opt for lighter jobs such as housekeeping duties or childminding over caregiving for an elderly or persons with care needs. Why so?
The Unattractive Sides of a Caregiving Job
Caregiving can be a dirty job where you need to clean up your care recipient’s urine or faeces, change soiled bed sheets, empty urine catheter bags, clean wounds day in day out. Some maids complain to their employers of the smell that they cannot tolerate.
Caregiving can be physically demanding and it includes losing sleep at night. Physical stamina and strength are needed to move a wheelchair-bound elderly from bed to wheelchair and vice versa several times in a day, moving and positioning a bedbound elderly in the bed.
Losing sleep at night is also expected as you would need to wake up a few times at night to assist the elderly to the toilet, change diapers or turn and position to prevent pressure injuries (bedsores).
Handling the elderly often also entail managing their behaviours including calming them down when they throw tantrums, handling their mood swings, coaxing them to take shower, medications or have their meals when they refuse to cooperate. These require patience and understanding on the part of a caregiver and it can be emotionally draining.
Caring for someone also includes taking on the responsibilities of the elderly’s well-being. It can be daunting to have such a responsibility. A new maid might fear that she would be blamed by the family for anything that happens to the elderly.
With all the unattractive demands of a caregiving job, it is not surprising that for the same salary, many maids would choose to go for other domestic jobs with lighter duties comparatively.
Elderly Care Maids are Trained for Caregiving
When you hire a maid trained in elderly care, you would have overcome the challenge of finding someone who is willing to do the job. Caring for elderly or persons with care needs is what elderly care maids are trained to do. They have all completed caregiving training and are willing to provide care for your elderly loved one.
Ability To Take Care of the Elderly
Some employers have encountered issues when training their new maids. Sometimes the new maid finds it challenging to pick up these new skills such as how to transfer the patient from bed to wheelchair, how to change diapers or how to assist in physiotherapy exercises.
They may feel overwhelmed or stressed out at having to pick up so many new caregiving skills shortly after arriving and adjusting to a new, foreign environment.
Trained maids for elderly care have already been trained in caregiving before they depart for Singapore. With these skills ready, they can start applying them when you handover the care of your loved one to them.
Expectations of Caregiving
Having the right set of expectations of a job that matches the actual demands of the job is important in helping a new maid perform well and stay in her job.
Normal Maids Can Have a Limited Understanding of Caregiving
For a maid with no caregiver training or experience, her understanding of what caregiving requirements is limited and varies depending on her own personal life experience and interactions.
Usually there are discrepancies between what an untrained maid expects of caregiving and what the full demands of being a full-time caregiver actually are.
For example, moving a wheelchair-bound person from bed to the wheelchair requires using a transferring technique. An untrained maid would not know how to do it. During the interview, she may tell you that she is willing to assist your loved one in using a wheelchair without actually knowing what it takes and how much physically strength and stamina it requires.
Knowledge of Caregiving Helps in Having Right Job Expectations
Having attended caregiver training, a maid trained in elderly care has a better understanding of what to expect in a full-time caregiving job. They know the tasks that are expected of them to care for an elderly or person with disability and know how to perform these tasks.
Using the same example of assisting a loved one into a wheelchair, they have been trained in the transferring technique and know that performing this task requires how much physical strength and stamina.
When you quiz a trained maid during the interview on this, with an understanding of what it takes, you can trust that her answer on her willingness to perform this task is an informed decision.
Thus, when a trained maid starts work with you, it is not likely that she gets a shock on the full demands of caregiving and quit on you.
In addition to training, in our agency, we also provide our trained maids with clear job descriptions, explaining the tasks that they need to complete including the unattractive sides of a caregiving job.
With training and clear accurate job requirements put across to her, your new, trained maid for elderly care would have a clear understanding on the realistic demands of caregiving and provide safe, quality care for your elderly or disabled loved one at home.
Choosing the Most Suitable Maid for Your Loved One’s Well-being
Choosing someone right for the job of caring for your loved one with caregiving needs is important in his overall well-being. When caregiving provided by your new maid falls short of what your elderly loved one needs, it may be costly to your loved one’s health.
After hiring a new maid, some employers encounter their loved ones being readmitted to the hospital due to having worse health outcomes. These often include:
- Falling down at home which may be due to improper assistance or not attending to the elderly
- Urinary tract infection which may be due to improper perineal hygiene such as not changing diapers or proper cleaning
- Pressure injuries (bedsores) which may be due to not turning and positioning the elderly every 2 -3 hours
- Aspiration pneumonia which may be worsened by rushed or forced feeding, poor oral hygiene or not elevating the elderly or letting him stay elevated for long enough after oral or tube feeding.
Making a Informed Decision
We have shared with you the key differences in training, willingness, ability and expectations between a normal maid and a maid trained in elderly care. This information can help you in making a more informed decision with your family on who to hire for your elderly parent or loved one with disability.