Home health aides and caregivers provide invaluable services. They ensure that older adults who need support can get the care they need at home. Depending on their client’s needs, they can assist with medication management, personal hygiene, light housekeeping, transportation, and more. And they become a much-needed resource so that children and other relatives can feel comfortable that their loved one is receiving the best care possible. That’s why it’s so crucial to not only find the right person but build a strong partnership based on mutual trust and respect. Learn more from FirstLantic Healthcare on the best ways to make that connection with your caregiver.
Communication is the key to any good relationship, so why would it be different with a caregiver? However, strong communication takes work and usually only develops when there is a good rapport. If you can, spend time with the caregiver face to face and get to know them as a person. Provide them with as much information about your relative as possible such as their likes and dislikes, their background story, personality type, needs, etc., and listen to any concerns they may have. Make sure that both parties know the clear expectations and that it’s in writing. Finally, set up a regular meeting in person or over the phone with the caregiver so that you can get status reports directly.
Discuss your relative’s preferences with the caregiver as soon as they start. For example, if your mother likes to read the paper first thing in the morning with her coffee or your dad can’t stand to have the TV on during the day, it’s essential to share that information. Detailing their food choices, housekeeping standards, and activities that your relative likes will also ensure that the caregiver has the knowledge they need to avoid misunderstandings later.
If the caregiver reports that your relative is not eating or seems depressed, try to develop a solution together. You are the expert on your relative, but they have worked with other clients who have had similar concerns, and they may have suggestions on how to resolve them. Treat the home health aide as a trusted partner rather than someone who is simply performing a service.
Appreciation and Respect
Working as a home health aide is not an easy job, and it often can be a thankless one. Don’t forget to let the person know how much you appreciate them. Everyone likes to hear when they are doing a good job and feel valued. Remember to check in with your caregiver and ask how they are doing and if they need anything. Treat them as a valued household member rather than an employee, and you will build a mutually beneficial relationship.
If there is a problem, deal with it immediately and don’t go to their agency without speaking with the caregiver first. You won’t ever be able to build a trusting relationship if you go behind their back without letting them know something needs to be addressed. If you can’t solve the concern with them directly, you will need to speak with a supervisor, but that should never be your first recourse.
In conclusion, a strong relationship between caregivers, clients, and their families is an absolute must. You are entrusting this person with the well-being of your loved one, and you can’t look at this as someone simply performing a service like taking care of your yard. So, focus on building and maintaining a positive partnership with your caregiver from the start because your loved one’s health, and even happiness, could depend on it.
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