Foreign domestic workers (FDW) can make your life a lot easier, especially when you have elderly family members constantly in need of care and support. However, you have to fully understand your responsibilities as an employer before getting a new maid, inquiring at different maid agencies, or going through the hiring process.
As an employer, you have to think about the welfare of your maid for elderly care. But you also have to learn to balance things out.
Abuse can happen not only on the part of foreign domestic workers but also with employers. You have to set a sound employer and maid relationship from the start.
You also have to take the process of hiring a maid for the elderly seriously to lessen the chances of getting someone underserving of your trust.
Let’s look into the common mistakes Singaporean employers make when hiring foreign domestic helpers to provide elderly care. This will help employers and those who want to apply as domestic helpers know what to do, how to act, and manage their expectations.
Foreign Domestic Worker (FDW) – An Introduction
Statistics show that Singapore had around 246,000 foreign domestic helpers in 2021. This is lower than usual due to the effects of border closures and entry restrictions brought about by the pandemic. The Employment of Foreign Manpower Act covers all the rights of your domestic helper.
The law states that employers must provide a foreign maid with acceptable accommodation. They are also live-in maids, meaning they will stay with the family members of their employers.
Aside from the due compensation, your maid for the elderly is entitled to have a rest day. You must also arrange a sponsorship scheme for their medical care and insurance and ensure they are in safe working conditions.
The Common Mistakes When Hiring Maids to Look After an Elderly Family Member
This list will help employers and future ones to know the mistakes to avoid so that they can have a productive and thriving relationship with their potential maids who will care for your elderly.
Here are the common mistakes an employer commits when hiring a maid:
Forgetting to set house rules
It is better to be clear with your maid what you expect them to do (and what not to do) once employed. Put it into writing so you can easily reference the conditions if the maid fails to abide by what you have discussed.
Write the rules in a language your maid will understand, especially when they cannot read English. The rules should include the following:
- Basic safety awareness when dealing with elderly persons and the younger family members
- The no-access areas in the house
- Rules when it comes to taking photos in the house (for security reasons)
- Personal hygiene
- Working attire
- Use of phones
- Notes about the house’s security
- Daily working hours
Hiring one person as a caregiver and full-time maid
Elderly care is not an easy task. It requires someone with basic caregiving skills since you will entrust to them the well-being of your elderly family members.
A maid for elderly care usually undergoes caregiver training courses or eldercare training programs to provide the best service once hired. While they can sometimes help in doing household chores, their priority needs to be elderly care.
If you want what’s best for your elderly loved one or the family member in need of constant care, you have to get a maid for elderly care and another to manage the household chores.
Passing all responsibilities for an elderly loved one to your elderly care maids
As a family member with a closer tie to an elderly person, you must not pass all responsibilities of taking care of them to your maid. You must still know about their daily routines and the medications they’re taking, and provide them with attention and company whenever you can.
Not allowing your maid to take a rest day per week
The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has laid out a rule about giving FDWs, including maids for the elderly, a rest day per week. You can always ask your maid to change the rest day or request them to work on a rest day, given that you will compensate them for doing so.
However, it is better to be considerate and allow your maids to take a break once a week. Taking care of your elderly family member is not easy. Give them a breather and time to recharge, so they can continue working without stress and fatigue.
Lack of communication with your maids
You can request the top maid agencies in Singapore to give you candidates with a work permit, healthy mental capacity, excellent caregiving skills, and speak the language you understand. More often than not, poor communication between an employer and an employee arises from misunderstanding.
While Google Translate can help you get past the language barrier between you and a foreign language-speaking maid, an elderly person may not be too comfortable using the technology. As the care recipient, you also have to make it easier for them to communicate with the elderly care maids.
Failing to arrange extra training for your FDWs
While most of the top maid agencies in Singapore require maids to undergo formal eldercare training before employment, it would still help to arrange extra training for your hired maids. This is especially true when the care recipients require urgent caregiving skills or they need trained maids for specific tasks or in caring for their health conditions.
Your maid will be more efficient and less stressed when equipped with the necessary skills to take care of an elderly person with different disabilities, what to do in critical situations, or how to prepare specific meals.
Top Things to Remember Before Hiring Maids in Singapore
In order to make things work, you have to do your best to ensure a mutually beneficial relationship between you as an employer and your maid. You must also see that the maids get along well with the care recipients before you start delegating the tasks and leaving your loved one under the care of a domestic helper most of the time.
Here are some things you need to remember before hiring maids:
Have an open communication
Explain all things, including your rules and expectations, with your maid. You must also ask them what they want or if there are any specific things you need to know, like their food preference due to religion or culture.
Be prompt in giving your maid their salary
You must indicate in the contract the schedule of your helper’s salary release and abide by it promptly. It’s okay to be late for up to seven days in giving your maids their wages as long as there is an urgent reason.
MOM will step into action once you fail to give the expected salary of your maid after the seven-day allowance. You can hand out the money along with a payslip for record-keeping.
You can also open a bank account for your helper, which is more convenient for both parties. They can withdraw or transfer money to their loved ones abroad. You can also easily track your deposits made through this.
Have your helper undergo a medical exam once every six months
MOM requires employers to have their maids undergo medical exams at least once every six months to ensure they are fit to work. Failing to do so may lead to the revocation of their work permit.
Be a responsible employer
You have to treat your helper with respect, so they will give back the same kind of treatment they are getting. Get everything signed in a contract, which the maid agency can help you draw and complete.
It’s a challenge to find the right people who will fit into your family, especially for an elderly person in need of constant care. But with the help of an excellent agency, no challenge is too difficult to overcome.
This is what we are here for. RC Caregivers will guide you through the process of hiring foreign maids. We will ensure that you get the match you’re looking for, and we will continue assisting you even after the contracts have been signed.
With the right agency, you will have a higher chance of finding the right help to support your elderly relatives with efficiency and ease.