13 April Connecting with Your Caregiver
Homecare is critical for older patients who need a little more help each day. But for the patient — or the patient’s family — it can be a hard transition. Welcoming someone new into your home and life can be hard to get used to. It might even leave you asking how to connect with your caregiver.
Let’s explore how to connect with your caregiver with 4 key tips.
Tip #1: Understand Your Caregiver’s Duties
Some families feel uncomfortable with caregivers because they aren’t sure what the caregiver’s job is. It’s important to define the caregiver relationship early, if not immediately. Even if you haven’t defined these roles late in the relationship, you can still take the time to do so.
– Do daily chores. These include buying groceries, cooking, cleaning, doing laundry, and providing transportation to appointments or events.
– Assist with hygiene. Caregivers can help someone shower, dress, and brush their teeth.
– Help with medical upkeep. They can remind the patient to take medicine, move a patient, change bandages, arrange doctor’s appointments, and take notes during appointments.
– Serve as a patient advocate. Caregivers can speak with doctors and nurses to understand the patient’s care.
– Manage crises. Caregivers can handle emergencies if needed, like calling an ambulance or arranging urgent care.
– Take care of administrative tasks. Caregivers can handle home upkeep and bill paying.
– Offer companionship. Most caregivers act as companions to their elderly care receivers, whether or not it’s in their contract.
To ensure your caregiver relationship is clear (and satisfactory), determine your caregiver’s tasks carefully. This will make both you and your caregiver more comfortable.
Tip #2: Improve Caregiver Communications
The best way to improve caregiver interactions is to improve how you communicate with them.
Improving communications starts with setting clear expectations, which we covered in the previous tip. In addition, you can also:
– Be open. Don’t be afraid to tell your caregiver if you don’t like the way something is done or if you are offended by something. This is the only way that you can get them to make an adjustment.
– Try to keep a positive attitude. Having a new person in your home can be unsettling. However, if you try to maintain a positive attitude, it’s likely to both boost your mood and also set your caregiver at ease. A positive attitude also makes it easier for both of you to open up.
– Avoid assumptions. If a caregiver does something you don’t like, you might assume they did it on purpose or that they knew better. This is most likely not the case. Try to avoid assumptions, and give your caregiver the benefit of the doubt. Ask questions, open a dialogue, and see whether you can get to the bottom of it.
If you can improve your caregiver communications, there’s a big chance you’ll be able to connect with your caregiver a lot better than before.
Tip #3: Enjoy Your Time Spent Together
Sitting at home, day after day, and doing nothing but the necessities or daily tasks can be isolating for both patient and caregiver. For the two parties to bond and have a good time, it’s important that you participate in activities together.
In some cases, physical therapy can serve as a bonding experience, because it’s a challenging process that takes effort on both sides. But if you don’t have physical therapy, or if you want to bond more, there are other activities you can do, including:
– Play board games. Board games are making a comeback. There are both new and old games that a caregiver and patient can play and enjoy.
– Do arts and crafts. Nearly everyone enjoys arts and crafts. Try setting up an artsy afternoon when both parties can create something unique from scratch.
– See what’s on at the local senior center. If mobility is not an issue, an outing to the local senior center can be fun and rewarding. They offer everything from art classes to movie nights that both parties can participate in.
– Take a walk. If you live close to a well-maintained park or if you have a nice backyard, a walk can be a great way to get in nature and lift your spirits.
Fun interactions and activities are some of the best ways to connect with your caregiver.
Tip #4: Don’t Be Afraid to Reach Out to their Agency
If you’ve tried to connect with your caregiver and failed, or if you feel uncomfortable or scared around a caregiver, don’t be afraid to reach out to their agency. Your and your family’s health and safety are the most important things to consider.
A top-notch homecare agency will be happy to answer questions, take action, and ensure you’re having the best homecare experience possible.