Having a stranger in your home is difficult. Especially when it comes to someone taking care of your loved one, they take care of a family member of yours, and it is stressful to leave that loved one with them. Communication is key when it comes to a relationship like this one. It helps on all fronts regarding your loved one’s care, what is expected of them, schedule, and different aspects of care.
Your caregiver is your lifeline to taking care of a big responsibility, your loved one. They are the ones that can do it properly and efficiently. But if there is no communication, respect, and relationship, then it will end badly. Here are a few ways to help build your communication and connection with your loved one’s caregiver.
Help them Start Their First Day
When your caregiver arrives, help them get settled and welcomed comfortably. Their first day is not only scary for you, but the caregiver as well. Have the elderly family member, if they are capable, show them the house: where food is kept, laundry, if they are expected to do some, and cleaning supplies, if that is another task on the list for them to do.
You want to include your loved one in this day as much as possible. They are the one who is going to spend the most time with this helper. Set up some time to sit down and plan out the new arrival of the caregiver. Figure out the tasks and duties that this person will be doing day-to-day.
When a caregiver starts, of course, you don’t want to overwhelm them with the abundance of information, but start with the essential things. Make copies of the list of medications, phone number, doctors included, allergies, if any, and day to day tasks that they would be doing. This is a less overwhelming way to tell them everything they need to know without throwing it in their face.
Be Open with your Loved One’s Caregiver
You want to start this relationship open and honest; it is the best way to do so. Express yourself to them what you are expecting from them as care goes, your main concerns when it comes to your family member, etc. This way, they are not walking into new rules or tasks every day. It is not smart to flip the switch on your loved one. There has to a consistent plan of action every day. Routine is not only good for your loved one but your caregiver. So she can come in and get started every day without a bump in the road.
You want to encourage the caregiver to be in touch with you with any issues or questions. Leave a way for them to get in touch with you: cell phone number, work number, your child’s number if they are old enough to handle a task like that, etc. When you stay positive and not place blame on your caregiver, it will keep these interactions continuous and respectful. They won’t try to hide anything from you. They will always come to you because you understand how to communicate with them.
Give Her Space
Your caregiver has a life too. Be aware of that. They have other responsibilities, like their family, home, and other activities they may be involved in. Your caregiver is not at your beck and calls all the time. They need space too. Their job is mentally and physically exhausting; they need to decompress, too, just like you.
On your days off, you don’t want to be called in or bother with work-related stuff. Give your caregiver the same respect. It can be overwhelming when it is just you taking care of your loved one for a day; you’re worried about what could happen, but take it one step at a time, and you will find out that it isn’t so hard. So, when they have a day off, it is their day off. Unless there is an emergency, you shouldn’t bother them.
Caregivers have demanding jobs. You know how difficult your loved one can be at times. You want to be as communicative as possible. Draw a line in the sand from the beginning; be upfront with what you are looking for in a caregiver and what the job will entail. Caregivers don’t like surprises. TLC Home Care hires lovely, understanding, and compassionate employees who are knowledgeable in the industry. See what they can do for your family.