Now that you and your senior loved one have decided that aging in place and receiving home care is the route you’re going to take, building a relationship with your in-home caregiver and working together with them to help your loved one remain safe and healthy at home is essential.
Our agency has partnered with hundreds of families since we started providing home care services throughout Virginia in 1995. Here are some suggestions to help you establish trust, set expectations, and communicate effectively with your caregiver.
Before hiring a caregiver, write down your expectations and list caregiver responsibilities. By doing this ahead of time, you’ll avoid surprises and conflicts down the road. If you’re already working with a caregiver, it’s not too late to have this important conversation.
Help your caregiver get to know your loved one
Home care is very personal, and sharing stories personalize the relationship with your caregiver. Seniors are usually open to talking about themselves and learning about other people.
Your caregiver will best meet the physical and emotional needs of your loved one if they understand their personal history, preferences, and emotional needs. This allows them to customize care and provide the best support possible.
Your caregiver will be spending a lot of time in the home with your loved one, and they’ll probably be helping with services like meal preparation and light housekeeping. It will take a little time for your caregiver and you’re senior to get to know each other, but sharing your knowledge of your loved one’s preferences can help with the transition.
See your caregiver as a person, not just an employee
A professional caregiver will always respect the fact that they work for you, but it’s important to them that they’re also recognized as a person. Take the time to get to know them personally, even if you live far away and have to do it by phone or video chat. Building a solid relationship with your caregiver reduces turnover and enhances the care and attention they provide your senior.
Always communicate openly and honestly
The cornerstone of any solid relationship is open and honest communication. It prevents misunderstandings and incorrect assumptions and improves the overall quality of care for your loved one.
You must communicate with your caregiver not only about the good things but also about things that aren’t going well. For example, perhaps your loved one thinks the meals your caregiver is preparing are too spicy, or they feel your caregiver is taking too many personal calls at work. Communicating about the issue early on can keep it from becoming a bigger problem later.
Be upfront about past problems
Seniors can sometimes be stubborn and abrasive. If your loved one has these tendencies and it’s affected their caregiver or personal relationships in the past, let your home care agency know upfront. Agencies like AmeriCare Plus can match your loved one with a caregiver who has experience working with challenging clients.
Solve problems together
Working in unison with your caregiver when a problem arises will lead to a successful resolution more quickly. For example, if your parent has lost interest in eating and isn’t getting proper nutrition, your caregiver can help. However, you’re the real expert on your parent’s favorite foods and other small details.
Contact us today if you live in Virginia and are ready to partner with The Old Dominion’s premier home care agency. We have ten locations throughout the state, and our team of professional caregivers will be happy to serve your loved one and your family.