1) Make sure and discuss the families and needs and preferences
It is of utmost importance that your relationship with the family for whom you will be caregiving starts off on the right foot. It can save an incredible amount of headache and heartache if you establish and understand their needs from the very beginning. We suggest that you sit down with the patients and their closest relatives to get a good overview of your patient’s abilities and preferences. Some patients may not be able to express their needs or might be embarrassed by them. That is why it is often a good idea to speak with the people who are closest to them in order to get an in depth and accurate understanding of your client’s situation before you begin to work in their home. Additionally, it can be a big transition for people to welcome a new person into their personal space. This is why it is important to understand their situation thoroughly and take it slow when you begin work. You and your client should discuss in depth if there are any areas of the home that are off limits or if there are services that make your client uncomfortable. It is also a great idea to ensure that you know your patient’s current routine and respect the way that they like their home to look and feel. Unless they request you to reorganize a space, you shouldn’t move or change their belongings.
2) Create a detailed care plan
Once you have worked with your client and their family to understand their needs and preferences, creating a detailed care plan can be very useful. This plan can include daily scheduling, services, meal planning, and anything else you feel is important to keep track of and manage. This type of plan will help to ensure that you and your client are on the same page regarding expectations of services. We also suggest that you revisit the care plan every couple of months to ensure that both parties are happy and benefitting from the relationship. It is also likely that the longer you work with a family the more comfortable they will become with you. In this case you may find that they are willing to give the caregiver more responsibilities and flexibility in the workplace.
3) Recognize that there is no one-size fits all when you are picking a caregiver
If you have been working with a client or family for quite some time and are still struggling to find your rhythm, don’t get disheartened. Unfortunately, there are circumstances when caregivers are not well matched with their clients. In these situations it is okay to find a more suitable match for both parties involved. Of course we recommend requesting a new client or caregiver as a last resort after several attempts to repair the relationship, but sometimes this the best option. Every single client is an individual with their own opinions, beliefs, and preferences. There is no such thing as a “one-size fits all” caregiver. There are patients who prefer a very structured routine and there are patients who like a relaxed environment and don’t need as much assistance with daily activities. At CareBuilders we guarantee that you will find the right match for you, even if it is not your first placement. When you use CareBuilders at Home’s home care services, we strive to make sure both parties are happy and comfortable. We always recommend a trial period as well as in depth interviewing so that way our clients enter a caregiving situation prepared and with a positive attitude.