Updated November 7, 2022
Home health caregivers provide invaluable services, ensuring you get the necessary support as you age. Depending on your needs, they can assist with medication management, personal hygiene, light housekeeping, transportation, and more. And they become a much-needed companion to offer help so you can stay in the comfort of your own home. But having a new person in your household can be an adjustment. That’s why it’s crucial to find the right person and build a strong partnership based on mutual trust and respect. FirstLantic Healthcare offers tips on the best ways to connect with your home health 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 your caregiver face to face and get to know them as a person before having them work with you. Provide them with as much information about your situation as possible such as your likes and dislikes, background story, needs, etc., and listen to any concerns they may have. Ask them questions about how they approach caregiving, and make sure that you both have clear expectations.
Discuss your preferences with the caregiver as soon as they start. For example, if you like to read the paper first thing in the morning with your coffee or your husband can’t stand watching TV during the day, it’s essential to share that information. Detailing your food choices, housekeeping standards, and activities you enjoy will also ensure that your caregiver has the knowledge they need to avoid misunderstandings later.
Appreciation and Respect
Working as a home health aide is not easy, and it often can be a thankless job. Don’t forget to let the person know how much you appreciate them. Everyone likes to hear when they are doing good work 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.
Just as you expect your caregiver to be patient with you, you also have to reciprocate, understanding that there will be bumps in the road at first. When someone starts a new job, there is a learning curve. You can’t expect perfection. Chances are that it will also be hard for you to give up some control within your home, so acknowledge that. Take a deep breath and let your caregiver know your feelings rather than letting them lead to resentment.
If you feel things are not working as expected, then have a conversation sooner rather than later. Try to resolve issues together calmly and without emotion. Communication is crucial in any healthy relationship, so don’t be afraid to have tough conversations. And don’t go to their agency without speaking with them 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 a must. You are entrusting this person to come into your personal space and provide you with home healthcare. 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 health and happiness will depend on it.
As a home health agency in Florida, FirstLantic understands the importance of hiring a caregiver that you and your family can trust. We have provided our patients with the highest quality in-home care services in Broward and Palm Beach Counties since 2000. Click here to contact us.
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