5 ways to build a good rapport with your elderly loved one’s attendant
When an elderly member of the family gets diagnosed with a chronic ailment which might require long term care, one has to plan the caregiving responsibilities. One needs to rope in all the support available, professional caregivers/attendants can be of tremendous help if hired through reliable professional organizations. Hiring the right attendant and then building a rapport with her/him goes a long way in helping manage the elderly’s care. A good helping hand can free you up to let you take care of your personal and professional commitments, health and socializing needs and overall help reduce caregiving effort.
Once you have identified a good attendant it is important to build a relationship with her because it will help in:
1) Building ownership and responsibility – One should be willing to help them setup the care initially and communicate with them regularly. Sharing your caregiving goals with them and helping them understand the requirements can help build responsibility. Encouraging and acknowledging them regularly will motivate them to stay committed to their duties.
2) Going that extra mile – If the attendant connects well with you then she will be able to manage her own caregiving stress. Many a times the elderly can be impolite or extremely demanding because of pain or their condition, in times like these it is important to empathize with the attendant and help them understand the condition of the elderly. With a good communication mechanism established the attendant would be willing to go that extra mile to discharge her duties.
3) Help them maintain continuity – Many times caregivers get frustrated with a particular family/household and ask for rotation duties. However, if one establishes a good rapport then it will earn you their loyalty. Checking up on them regularly and taking care of their reasonable personal needs can help cement a good relationship based on mutual respect, trust and affection.
So how does one form a good rapport?
1) Clarify commitment and responsibilities – The foremost thing is to set your expectation and clarify the duties which you need help for. Share your caregiving goals so that you are both on the same page. For example if your loved one is bed ridden, then hygiene and helping them turn around frequently to avoid bed sores could be a very important care goal. Ask the attendant to share his/her understanding in order to avoid any communication gap.
2) Ensure language is no barrier– If one can get an attendant who speaks the same language it can help a lot. But this may not be practically possible all the time. However, make sure that language poses no barrier in communication.
3) Approach each individual with an open mind– It is important to review and be aware of the attendant’s past experience. There could be some tasks he/she has not done earlier, help them understand those tasks and encourage them to seek clarifications. Give them a three to four days to settle in get comfortable with their duties.
4) Communicate often– Caregivers are given the important duty of providing support and encouragement to your elderly loved one. Being in touch with them over the phone a couple of times during the day can help build a good relationship. Too much supervision or being totally hands off will not help and can be detrimental to building the relationship. Many a times attendants tell us that the family is too busy to even acknowledge them and understand their challenges. Remember you have hired them for caregiving support but you still remain the primary caregiver. It is important to make some effort and check on them regularly, while creating a safe space for the attendants to express their thoughts about their role and their concern for the person receiving care.
5) Encourage and show gratitude – A caregiver’s responsibilities whether paid or unpaid can be stressful. It is important to acknowledge and thank them regularly for their contribution. Small tokens of appreciation like a smile, a hug or some time off can make a lot of difference in the quality of care. Take time for a conversation expressing your appreciation of the important role they play in your loved ones life.
A great advise by Mother Teresa – “It is not how much you do, but how much love you put in the doing.”
We at Samvedna Senior Care aim to help seniors live happy, active and independent lives, in the comfort of their home and community through interactive caregiving.
Samvedna Senior Care was established in October 2013 with two complementary goals – firstly to provide quality home care services to seniors with limited mobility or dementia and hence social interaction, and secondly to facilitate stimulating community interaction and participation.
In-Home Trained Attendant Service
Samvedna Senior Care’s trained in-home attendant service brings to you verified attendants and nurses, specially trained by specialists in elder care and dementia. Our staff is trained to not only take care of your elderly loved one’s physical wellbeing through top class personal care and nursing, but also their emotional wellbeing. The attendants are monitored by our Senior Care Specialists (psychologists and MSWs)
Our service is available across Delhi, Gurgaon and Noida. We offer both male and female attendants as per request, for 12 and 24 hour shifts.
Know more about our Trained Attendant Services here http://www.samvednacare.com/attendant-care-services. You can also call us on 98184 00561 or write to us on firstname.lastname@example.org.