Stephen Covey’s best-selling book, “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People”, shares the best approaches to effectively meet personal goals. Inspired by his principles, Allie Harris, in Home Care Liaison of Home Care Assistance Bethesda, shares seven habits of successful caregivers.
As the number of people over the age of 80 continues to grow more quickly than the number of people born, there is an increasing need for long-term in home care services and aged care services options. Many of us are finding ourselves in a position where we will either need to be a family carer or hire a professional in home care agency or in home care services. As someone who has dedicated her career to the care for the elderly, I am aware of the qualities we can develop in ourselves as family carers or look for in professional in home care services to ensure our loved ones are cared for with the dignity and compassion they deserve as they are ageing in place. Here are 7 habits of highly effective caregivers:
- Be proactive, not reactive. Effective in home Care Workers must know and get along with his or her client. Be weary of any home care agency that doesn’t ask for a client’s biography as it can provide an understanding of the personality, values and roles of the person for which he or she will be providing in home care services.
- Have a care plan. Begin with the end in mind and know the client’s ultimate care goals. If you are a caregiver, or especially if you plan on hiring a n in home care agency, it is imperative to have a care plan in place before the start of any in home care services. A good care plan outlines not only activities of daily living (ADLs) such as medication reminders, bathing or cooking, but also big picture goals. Focus on possibilities as opposed to limitations and involve the person receiving in home care services in the discussion.
- Put first things first. Once you have a care plan, prioritise goals. Remember that creating purpose and joy for our clients or loved ones is the ultimate goal, but there is no way to achieve it if the much more basic in home care needs are not being met.
- Think win-win. As an in home Care Worker, there are no shortcuts to providing quality in home care services. Spending 5 to save 20 is a common phrase we use to demonstrate the importance of the in home care relationship. For example, instead of pushing a loved one to the dining table in a wheelchair, allow your loved one to push it himself or herself, if able. Although this may take longer, it helps maintain strength, preserve dignity and promote conversation instead of a potential argument.
- Seek first to understand, then to be understood. The need to have someone listen to and understand us does not lessen with age. As an in home Care Worker, understanding your clients’ unique needs and preferences for the in home care services they receive is the best and only way to create trust and provide effective care. Giving time and attention is the greatest way to show someone not only that you care, but also that they matter.
- Synergise and collaborate. In home Care Workers and loved ones or clients should share their care experiences – It may be common to share problems, but try to share successes too! By opening communication, in home Care Workers can better cater to the individual’s needs and preferences and have more fun along the way providing necessary aged care services!
- Sharpen the saw. Being an in home Care Worker can be stressful. That’s why it’s important to remember if you don’t take care of yourself, you won’t be able to take care of someone else.That can be hard to embrace, so I invite you to say it over and over. An effective in home Care Worker is one that understands that they are a human with needs and limits, just like the person they are caring for. You wouldn’t expect a dull saw to cut down a tree effectively, and you can’t expect yourself to be effective in your in home care services if you don’t take the time you need to stay sharp.
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As a leading age care provider, Home Care Assistance offers tailored in-home care services for older Australians, enabling them to live happier and healthier lives in the comfort of their own homes.
We offer private and government subsidised Care Packages and have office locations that are a registered NDIS provider. Our Care Workers undergo extensive training in order to deliver unmatched in-home aged care services where people can continue ageing in place. We are proud ambassadors of the My Aged Care government funded aged care program, enabling Australians to successfully navigate the process and gain approval for in-home care support packages. Home Care Assistance offers hourly care, specialised care, Alzheimer’s and Dementia care, hospital to home care, and 24 hour in home care.