Building and maintaining a good relationship with your professional in home Care Worker seems like it would be straight-forward, but it can sometimes be difficult to know exactly how. It is a relationship that walks such a fine line between intimacy and professionalism.
In home Care Workers perform tasks that are personal, close and that can foster dependence for those ageing in place and receiving in home care services. Establishing a good relationship with an in home Care Worker will encourage open and honest communication. Remember, although a Care Worker may seem like a friend, they are, and will always be, a professional provider of in home care.
What to Keep in Mind in Building a Relationship with Your in Home Care Worker
Respect for Privacy.
Respect for privacy works both ways. As you begin to bond with an in home Care Worker, especially if they provide full time in home care services, it is natural to want to know about their private life. This may be uncomfortable for some Care Workers. Make sure not to cross professional boundaries so that your Care Worker isn’t in a position where they feel obligated to share overly personal information while providing home care assistance.
Likewise, share only information about yourself or your family member that is necessary to care for the elderly loved one you have entrusted them with. Let the in home Care Worker know that any medical information about the client is confidential, or specify who this information can be shared with such as specific aged care services, aged care providers, in home health care services, my aged care etc. It is normal for an in home Care Worker to get to know the person they are taking care of and important that they ask questions about their client. This kind of personal information is part of developing a bond. But it is not to be shared with anyone outside the family without permission from the individual ageing in place and their family.
Good topics of conversation include:
- Where the client/Care Worker is from
- What kind of work the client did
- Why the Care Worker decided to go into this profession.
- Favourite books, movies, music, restaurants or plays.
In home Care Worker tasks and responsibilities included in their in home care services should be identified in the care plan. Misunderstood expectations can interfere with maintaining a good relationship. Communicate expectations with your in home care agency and Care Worker in the beginning and throughout the relationship. If necessary, write things out in a clear and simple way that mirror the plan of in home care. Ask the Care Worker if they understand or have any questions or suggestions. When everyone is on the same page about the care that will be provided, it’s much easier to form a positive relationship.
8 Ways to Foster a Strong Relationship with Your in Home Care Worker
Starting the in home care relationship off on the right foot will avoid problems later and having a good relationship will keep the Care Worker and your family member happy. Here are some tips for ways to connect with your in home Care Worker and foster goodwill.
- Begin by making the right choice. If you feel that a Care Worker is not a good fit, then it may be best to move on to someone else. Talk with the agency about making any changes. It’s hard to connect with a Care Worker that is not a good fit for you or your family. Share your loved one’s likes and dislikes with a Care Worker. Give them some history of the person for whom they are caring.
- Communicate early and often. Communication is key when dealing with in home aged care services. When people know what is expected of them, they experience more job satisfaction. Establishing clear lines of communication (both ways) avoids misunderstandings and builds trust. If something is bothering you, don’t wait to tell the in home care agency. Take care of the problem sooner rather than later.
- Use praise. Sometimes we focus too much on what goes wrong. Tell your in home Care Worker that you appreciate what they are doing right. This reinforces positive behaviour and shows that you care.
- Be open to a Care Worker’s concerns. In home Care Workers may have concerns about what they are being asked to do as part of their in home care services. Take any unusual problems to the home care agency supervisor for review. Also, Care Workers may see problems that need attention. Listen with an open mind. In home Care Workers often observe things that no one else does about your loved one ageing in place.
- Don’t micromanage. No one likes to be nit-picked about things! Although communicating directly with your in home Care Worker is important, you should communicate significant changes to the home care agency and have them work with the Care Worker to update the care plan.
- Show respect. Caregiving is a hard and sometimes thankless job. Show respect by giving appreciation for a job well done. This will foster goodwill and make giving feedback to your Care Worker easier. Make the caregiving environment as comfortable as possible. Show the in home Care Worker where coffee, tea and snacks are. Let the home care agency know when your Care Worker is doing things well. They hear enough about the negative things. Tell your Care Worker how much you appreciate the attention to detail and a caring, compassionate attitude when they show it.
- Set boundaries. Professional boundaries encourage good decision making. It is good to be friendly, but an in home Care Worker is always a professional first. Keep the relationship positive, but professional and focused on the in home care services being provided.
- Check in with the family member that is being cared for. As your loved one is ageing in place and receiving in home care services, problems may come up about which you are completely unaware. By addressing these as soon as possible, you can maintain the positive relationship you have worked hard to establish. You’ll know if you have a great relationship with an in home Care Worker, but make sure that your family member does too! Ask your loved one how things are going and if they like the Care Worker. Check in frequently to see if there is anything they would like to change to support their in home care services and ensure they are comfortably ageing in place.
The in home Care Worker relationship is special. Treat it with care and respect. Depending on your situation, you may have several Care Worker relationships. Take the time to bond with each one. If you are living at a distance from your loved one, ask your in home care agency for advice on how to establish strong communication from afar. The positive energy you devote to the in home Care Worker relationship will be rewarded!
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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.