Harmonizing care: a guide for family caregivers to communicate with professional aides.

Nicole M. Clagett  Image
Tuesday, July 9, 2024
Caregivers Corner sponsored by Duke Helath

As a family caregiver, ensuring the best care for your loved one involves more than just hiring a paid caregiver; it requires a partnership based on clear and ongoing communication. Here are some important topics to discuss with your paid caregiver to ensure success:

Health and Medical Information: Provide a comprehensive medical history of your loved one, including medications, allergies, and any chronic conditions. This information is crucial for the caregiver to manage health needs effectively.

Daily Routine: Discuss the daily schedule, including mealtimes, medication schedules, and preferred activities. Consistency is comforting and can help maintain a sense of normalcy for your loved one.

Emergency Procedures: Ensure the caregiver knows what to do in an emergency, including who to contact and any necessary medical information that emergency personnel might need.

Personal Preferences: Share insights into your loved one's likes and dislikes, from food preferences to favorite pastimes. This knowledge helps the caregiver provide personalized care that respects the individual's choices.

Behavioral Triggers: If your loved one has dementia or another condition that may lead to challenging behaviors, discuss potential triggers and effective strategies for managing these situations.

Cultural and Religious Considerations: If applicable, inform the caregiver of any cultural or religious practices that are important to your loved one. This helps foster an environment of respect and understanding.

Boundaries and Expectations: Clearly outline what is expected of the caregiver, including tasks, hours, and any house rules. Setting boundaries from the start can prevent misunderstandings.

Feedback Mechanism: Establish a regular check-in process to discuss the care provided, share observations, and make any necessary adjustments. Open lines of communication ensure that both the caregiver's and your loved one's needs are being met.

By addressing these key areas, you lay the foundation for a successful caregiving relationship that honors your loved one's dignity and promotes their well-being. Remember, the goal is to create a collaborative environment where the paid caregiver feels supported and equipped to provide the best possible care.

If you need support in your caregiving journey reach out to the Duke Caregiver Support Program for free resources and support. Also, please watch our weekly caregiver educations segments every Monday on Eyewitness News 10-11am.