“Mom’s in assisted living. Everything is okay.” Assisted living and nursing homes are helpful tools to help ensure that your aging parents are safe and having their needs met. They are not, however, a full solution to all of a senior’s needs. Assisted living facilities, for example, do not ensure that your parent i
As a non-medical senior care provider, we occasionally have clients calling to ask, “Why don’t you train people how to make a bed?” The answer is, of course, that there’s no one right way to make a bed because everyone likes theirs made a certain way. Fortunately, caregivers are happy to learn how each client wants things done and will personalize tasks for each client.
Recently, a client’s daughter called after a first visit to say that her mother’s new caregiver wasn’t going to work out because she didn’t know how to fold towels. As with making a bed, folding towels is not rocket science; the key for this client was to show the caregiver how she wanted her towels folded. Once the caregiver knew, she was happy to oblige. Since there is no right way to fold towels, she could have had fifteen caregivers before she found someone who stumbled onto her way of doing it.
As with any relationship, communication is key when you have senior companion care workers in your home. People who have been accustomed to doing everything themselves can have a difficult time adjusting to needing help, particularly when they don’t realize that there is no one right or wrong way to do things around the home. Most people become caregivers because they want to help others, and they want to do it well. If it’s not going well, it’s likely a situation where clear communication is needed. There is nothing in life that “goes without saying.”
Things ended well for the client whose caregiver didn’t “know how to fold towels.” The client instructed her new caregiver how she wanted her towels folded, and after the caregiver’s second visit, our client called to say, “She’s been working out real good. She’s so helpful, and she’s very thoughtful. . . . I’m real happy.”
And that is why communication is critical to successful home care.
Carol Hauser, MA
November 16, 2015
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