Hiring an in-home caregiver can make life a lot easier when you have a loved one who needs skilled nursing or just some help with daily tasks. But if this will be the first time you have a caregiver in your home, you might be a little unsure about how to welcome them, introduce them to your loved one, and get the relationship off to a good start. Here are some tips to point you in the right direction!
1. Meet with them individually.
It's often a good idea for you, as a family member, to meet with the caregiver without the loved one who they will be servicing. This will give you an opportunity to be honest and clear with them about your loved one's needs. For instance, maybe your elderly parent really needs help using the restroom, but they are in denial of that fact. If you meet with the caregiver without your loved one, you'll be able to tell them these things, which will ensure they're fully aware of your loved one's needs.
2. Give them a complete list of medical information from the get-go.
In many cases, the caregiver will already have a lot of medical information about their patient. This information should have been forwarded by your loved one's doctor. However, since people see multiple doctors and communication errors are sometimes made, it's best if you also share all medical information with the caregiver from the onset. Tell them about all medications and all diagnoses, even if you don't think it is relevant.
3. Show them around.
You should give the caregiver a tour of the home when they first arrive! It's perfectly okay to designate certain areas, like your own bedroom, as off-limits to them. Caregivers should be very respectful of this; just leave the doors closed. Do show them around the kitchen, bathroom, and any areas where your loved one spends time, as they will need to be in and use these rooms repeatedly.
4. Provide emergency contact information.
This is especially important if the caregiver will be in your home when you are not around. Make sure they know who to contact if there is an issue with your loved one. Give them the names and numbers of friends or relatives who can help if you are not around personally.
If you follow the tips above, the transition into home health services will go smoothly.