The initial stages of your in-home senior care relationship can be a bit awkward. The good news is that is just like any other relationship where you must practice patients, mutual respect and making an effort to share and listen. There is someone you essentially do not know in your home or your loved ones home multiple times each week. It is important that you are able to become comfortable with the caregiver and make him or her feel welcome so you can facilitate open communication and trust. If you are in this situation or have an elderly relative that is, here are a few tips for making those first weeks a little easier.
Take Time to Talk About Them
When you speak with your in-home senior care provider, whether its a Seniors Helping Seniors staff member take time to talk about more than just your loved one. While their care is of the utmost importance, you want to get to know the person who is caring for them. Find out what makes them tick and make sure they are a good match and passionate about caring for seniors. Part of that is acknowledging him or her as a whole person, not just as an employee. A few questions showing you care can make a big difference. The following are some good examples to get you started.
1. How long have you been a caretaker for?
2. What got you started in elder care services?
3. How would you describe your personality?
4. What are your hobbies?
By asking these questions you not only make the caretaker feel like they are important to you but it helps you gauge how well of a math they are for you or a loved one you are finding care for. Maybe you share similar hobbies or interests, and maybe you can find someone with a similar personality. While its important not to get too caught up in first impressions, its still a good thing to pay attention to.
Make Your Home Comfortable
It can be very awkward to suddenly find yourself in another’s home while feeling unsure of what to do. Work to make certain your home is comfortable to your caregiver. This means giving a full and detailed tour, making certain they have everything they might need, and perhaps having a bottle of water ready for when they arrive. These are simple, small things that can make him or her feel more comfortable.
Invite Them into our Family
Not every in-home care provider for the elderly will be comfortable with this. However, some will appreciate the gesture. It can also make you feel more comfortable with the arrangement. If there is going to be a family lunch, extend the invitation and give a small gift at the holidays. Whenever it is appropriate, try to make them feel included and you will make a friend for life.