How to Maintain a Good Relationship with Your Senior Loved One’s Caregiver
After you hire an in-home caregiver for your senior loved one, it’s important to build a solid relationship with them. Maintaining a strong bond with mom or dad’s caregiver will help to improve the care they receive and keep your senior parent feeling happy and healthy. In this article, our team at United Methodist Communities HomeWorks will go over how to establish trust, set expectations, and have clear communication with your family’s home health aide in NJ.
Set clear expectations from the start
Start by setting expectations even before your home health aide is expected to start, so everyone is on the same page from the first day. Write down special requirements and caregiver responsibilities unique to your loved one’s situation. Go through your list clearly with the home health agency and then the caregiver to set expectations. This will help avoid frustrations and surprises as you all adjust to this new lifestyle.
Keep in mind that your loved one’s care needs or health may change over time. Speak to your home health agency ahead of time about what systems they have in place to evaluate care needs, to scale up caregiving services, and how their whole process works in regards to care changes.
Make communication a two-way street
Rather than thinking of a home health aide as an employee or service provider, think of them as a partner in your loved one’s health. Although senior caregiving is likely to be new to you, it’s something that senior care agencies have plenty of experience in, so remember to lean on their expertise regarding caregiving routines and new situations.
The most successful home health aide relationships come from a space of frequent, open communication, trust, and respect. It’s just as important to get your home health aide’s input and perspective as it is to have your own.
Putting the wellbeing and health of a loved one in an unknown person’s hands can be emotional, overwhelming, or even frightening. However, good communication – both listening and speaking – will help establish mutual trust and a partnership that puts your loved one’s needs first.
Be open about preferences
Everyone has their own way of doing things in their home. Going over these preferences with your home health aide will help them settle in faster and reduce stress or strain in their relationship with your loved one. Think about things such as:
- Food – What does your loved one typically enjoy eating? Do they like having the same breakfast each day? Are there foods that they dislike? Do they prefer a main meal at midday or in the evening?
- Personal habits – Do they enjoy bathing in the morning, at night, or both? Where do they like to take their meals? Do they like being more formally dressed or do they prefer casual clothes? Do they like tea in the morning or coffee?
- Activities – What are your loved one’s preferred habits throughout the day and week? Do they like to take a morning walk? Do they enjoy watching sports or reading? Are they a fan of chess or other board games?
- Housekeeping – Does your loved one like to have their bed linen changed daily? Are there specific towels for them and for guests? Do certain items around the home need to be treated a certain way?
As a family member, you are a treasure-trove of information that can help your home health aide settle in quickly and smoothly. The helpful information that only you can offer can be used to identify common interests and establish a bond between your loved one and their caregiver.
Help them get to know your loved one
Home health aides are in a unique position where they spend a lot of one-on-one time with their clients in an intimate setting, so it’s important to help them get to know the person they are spending their day or nights with.
Try to be open to questions and share stories about who your loved one is. Talk about vacations together, what it was like growing up with them, what they laughed at, what they loved, and what was important in their life. This helps to create a better understanding between your home health aide and your loved one and builds a stronger relationship to rely on.
At HomeWorks, our home health aides are our heroes. By working with seniors and building strong, caring relationships with each client, they help ease the minds of every family. For us, this important relationship is the key to helping your loved one live an abundant life! For more information on our senior home care services in NJ, please contact us today or visit our website at: