An overwhelming majority of older adults want to age-in-place. Spending your sunset years at home, allows an older adult to live out the rest of their lives with dignity, without disruptions to the patterns they have grown accustomed to, and at a place they have always loved. Yet, for many older adults and their families, the idea of letting a stranger into their homes, even if it is to take care of an older adult, makes them very uneasy. These feelings are not to be dismissed. Even without thinking of criminality, there are real risks to letting in the wrong person. The Cape Gazette argues that a good way to allay these fears and find solutions to your worries, is to build closer relationships with your home care agency.
We have to say, right off the bat, that safety concerns should never be put to the side in pursuit of home care assistance. The safety of your older adults should remain paramount. It is also important that the health needs of older adults are taken care of. Home care assistance should not be about having someone watch over your older adult, without care for the impact on their health and safety. Making a decision on who to let into your home is, therefore, a very important decision. It is a decision that should be taken with the most relevant factors accounted for, with all the necessary information at your disposal. Choosing a home care agency is just the first step toward getting the right outcomes.
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Learn More About the Caregiver
A stranger is more than just a stranger. There are sides to that stranger, inner depths that you have not explored and sides to them you have not seen. You should get past the discomfort of having a stranger in your home by acknowledging to yourself that there is more to them, and trying to get to know them. This is important not just for yourself, but for the caregiver as well. You may not realize it, but this stranger is walking into an uncertain situation and they have their own fears and questions. Opening up a dialogue and building a relationship will put them at ease and help them do their job better, and help you make more informed decisions about your future with them.
Pick a Primary Contact and Default Communication Platform
It can be overwhelming for caregivers to have to deal with multitudes of friends and family members, all jockeying to find out what is going on, or to give input on the care of the older adult. To ensure that the communication flow is rich and uninterrupted, you should also designate a preferred communication platform. For instance, you don’t want your caregiver emailing you if you hate email and never look at it. You have to choose a platform that’s available to them and which you check frequently. You should also ask your caregiver to keep the communication flow going and to give as many details as possible. This way, there will be fewer points of misunderstanding.
Be Open if You Are Unhappy
Don’t let problems fester. More often than not, your caregiver wants to do a good job, and they value your input. Keeping your dissatisfaction to yourself will keep you unhappy and not resolve anything. The important thing is to express your unhappiness with both candor and respect, so that situations do not become too emotional and the focus is on fixing a problem, not on some kind of fight. Have procedures for dealing with problems. For instance, you could start off with a message and escalate to a face to face meeting with the home care agency. If there is no resolution, then you can think about moving to another home care agency.