Building a strong relationship with your loved one's caregiver helps them to feel more welcomed in your home and enables them to give better care. And, while you may need to be intentional to develop a relationship with your loved one’s caregiver, it’s also easier than you might think.
The respect for privacy works in both directions; while you expect your caregiver to respect your loved one's privacy, it's also important to respect your caregiver’s privacy. As you begin bonding with your caregiver, it's natural to ask questions about their private life. Some caregivers find this easier to share and others are more private. Be sure not to cross personal boundaries, so your caregiver doesn't feel obligated to share their personal information. Likewise, only share information about yourself or your loved one that's necessary for your caregiver to do their job.
Developing relationships always includes conversation. Good topics you can bring up are where your caregiver grew up and what kind of work they've done throughout their life. Asking why your caregiver decided to go into this profession helps both of you share information while respecting privacy. Hobbies, favorite books, movies, music, and restaurants are all good topics that help you get to know the individual without delving into information that's too personal. Topics that are off-limits include spouses, partners, medical history and anything else you would not want a stranger asking you.
Communicate with your parent’s caregiver early and often. Be sure they know your expectations and ask them to share theirs. They will experience greater job satisfaction when there's a clear line of communication, which also helps avoid misunderstandings. If something is bothering you with your caregiver, try addressing it with them first. Don't let anything fester; take care of the problem sooner rather than later. Too often, communication is only about criticism. Instead, focus on what's been going right and reinforce positive behavior, which demonstrates you've seen what they've been doing and you care.
By the same token, be open to your caregivers’ concerns. They may have questions about their duties or tasks they're asked to do. They may have concerns about your loved one that you have not considered. Listen with an open mind and remember your caregiver is an objective third party who sometimes sees things no one else in the family has. Along this line, do not micromanage your caregiver regarding the way that they're caring for your loved one. Communicate directly about any significant changes, but remember there are often several ways to get something done. The ultimate goal is your loved one is cared for, healthy and loved.
Trust, honesty, and respect are essential in any successful long-term relationship. This includes the relationship you and your family have with your loved one's caregiver. Show them the same kind of respect and honesty you expect back from them. When caring for someone who is dependent on others, honesty is essential. In some cases, your loved one's life may depend on honesty and trust. Although caregivers are automatically placed into a position of authority, it is vital the respect is both given and received. In other words, the family should respect the caregiver and the caregiver should respect the client and family.
There's No Place Like Home! Contact Harmony Today!
Being a caregiver is physically and mentally demanding and exhausting. However, when you and your loved one's caregiver create a foundation of compassion, trust, and respect, you'll find the relationship between your caregiver and your loved one only grows stronger over time. At Harmony, we pride ourselves in providing you with caregivers who truly care about your loved one and work together with you to provide the best care possible for your family. Contact us today and we’ll get started finding truly caring and giving individuals to help care for your loved one.