Choosing the right professional caregiver is one of the best steps that you can take to ensure that you or your loved one is living life to its fullest potential. You have asked all the right questions, selected someone to provide quality care, and now you’re moving into the next phase of at-home care: communicating needs.
In reality, this phase never ends since healthy interactions will always be a part of the client-home health relationship. Still, it is essential to do everything possible to make sure that you are communicating with at-home caregivers as effectively as possible. Following the tips below can guide you into a relationship with your at-home caregiver that is both professional and mutually-beneficial.
Be Clear About Your Needs and Expectations
The time period right after hiring an at-home caregiver is somewhat like a honeymoon phase. For many families, accepting that help is needed is the difficult part and after that, it’s smooth sailing. After hiring an at-home caregiver, those needing care and their loved ones often feel a sense of relief. They now have someone to take over some of the difficult tasks and safety as well as peace of mind improves.
Many times this progresses into a long-term relationship with the home care service that lasts until care is no longer needed. But sometimes, the honeymoon phase comes to an end and questions about quality come up. Hiring an at-home caregiver is helpful only when the patient’s needs are being met.
To avoid problems down the road, it’s important to make your needs known early on when communicating with at-home caregivers. Don’t assume that they will know exactly what care is required since every patient is different. Instead:
- Set expectations high early on and in writing.
- Make a list of all of the tasks they will be expected to take on.
- Discuss order of importance and which responsibilities are critical.
- If you feel your at-home caregiver isn’t providing adequate care, speak up!
Make Communication Count
When working with an at-home caregiver in a one-on-one setting, issues will arise. This is normal. The key is to talk about any concerns in an productive way. To do so, make sure that you:
- Think before you speak—Don’t make emotional decisions or accusations that are unfounded. Choose your words carefully. Write out your thoughts beforehand if you need to.
- Send a clear message—One of the main reasons you should think about what you say carefully beforehand is so that you can send a clear message. Choose specific issues to discuss and stick to those topics. Don’t backpedal or make excuses.
- Be neutral—Entering a conversation with a defensive stance is one of the best ways to ensure that the discussion won’t go well. Be open-minded and consider your at-home caregiver’s feelings and responses.
- Talk! (and then listen)—State your concerns, ask any questions you might have, and then actually listen to what the other person has to say. Avoid the temptation to interrupt or raise your voice.
- Use the right communication method—Don’t try to resolve issues through text, since messages don’t show tone well. Instead, talk things out in person.
Know When to Make a Change
It’s possible that there will come a time when communicating with at-home caregivers seems too difficult or just doesn’t work despite using the tools above. This can lead some people to believe that at-home care isn’t for them. Instead of ending care, consider replacing your at-home caregiver with someone more suitable.
Schedule a free Care Consultation. During your Care Consult, we get to know you and your family members’ needs and will work to develop a personalized Care Plan. Call 941-746-8400 for more information. Contact First In Care, a trusted provider senior care agency for senior home care in Bradenton FL.