As an in-home care professional, you understand more than anyone the unique challenges that can present themselves on a case-by-case basis. Though it’s impossible to address every situation that may arise, there are some general tips that may help you as you strive to give the best possible care to your patients.
Schedule Time Out For Yourself
Elderly patients who suffer from reduced mobility or dementia often become fussy and frustrated with their situation, and they may take it out on you. Emotions can easily intensify to the point where you feel humanly entitled to push back. Obviously, that’s not allowable or advisable.
A better option is to be aware of when the mood is turning negative. Be ready with a distracting activity that doesn’t include you. While your patient is busy with the activity, you can calm yourself mentally, using visualization techniques, meditative breathing, or any other method that will help you to restore your inner peace.
Look For Clues
When you have a new patient, be on the lookout for clues as to what interests them. Being able to converse with and relate to your patient on topics they are interested in will help your relationship. Do they have a subscription to an entertainment magazine? Maybe they like to gossip about celebrities. Is there a crocheting kit near the couch? Find out what they like to crochet. Remember that your patient probably had a full life before they came to be in need of a caregiver. Tap into their interests, and you’ll make a fine companion for them.
Confirm and Reconfirm Your Schedule
There’s nothing worse than arriving for your appointment, only to find that a family member cancelled or changed it. When multiple children try to collaborate on care for their elderly parent, wires can easily get crossed and communication can break down.
To avoid wasting time and fuel, always confirm your appointments, unless they are standing appointments. Be sure you’re speaking to the one who is in charge of the care, be that the oldest child, your supervisor, or someone else. Confirm your exit time as well as your beginning time.
You're doing one of the most important jobs of your generation, and it's one of the hardest, as well. The fulfillment you get out of a job well done is multiplied when you can enjoy meaningful relationships with patients and their families.