As the population of people over the age of 80 years old continues to grow in Australia, so does the demand for long-term, home care services. Whether you’re hiring a dedicated Care Professional or stepping in as a family carer yourself, it is important to remember that not everyone possesses the qualities needed when it comes to caring for the vulnerable or elderly.
When you look at recent statistics, they show that as of 30ᵗʰ June 2022, approximately 407,000 Australians were using residential aged care, home care or transition care in Australia. This comprises 188,000 people using permanent or respite residential aged care, with 216,000 using home care and 3,500 using transition care¹. In addition to this, during 2021–22 over 818,000 people were assisted under the Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP). When you engage the services of Home Care Assistance, you don’t just get matched with one Care Professional – you work with a full team that is qualified, highly experienced and who are personally committed to the individuals and families they serve. It takes certain type of person, with specific qualities to ensure that loved ones aging in place, are cared for with the dignity and compassion they deserve.
That said, respected leadership authority and international author Stephen R. Covey, whose books have sold more than twenty-five million copies in thirty-eight languages, one of which is his number one seller, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”, was named the most influential book of the Twentieth Century. Taking inspiration from this impactful read, we believe that having, and continuing to develop healthy habits as individuals, makes for successful Care Professionals and family carers:
- Be proactive, not reactive. When it comes to effective home care, Care Professionals must know and have a good rapport with clients. A relationship built on trust, understanding and solid values is key in providing solid home care services.
- Have a care plan. If you are a family carer, or if you plan on hiring a dedicated Care Professional, it is imperative to have a care plan in place before the start of any 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 home care services in those discussions.
- Put first things first. Once you have a care plan, prioritise goals. Remember that creating purpose and joy for families or a loved one is the ultimate goal, but there is no way to achieve it if the much more basic home care needs are not being met.
- Think win-win. As a Care Professional, there are no shortcuts to providing quality home care services. ‘Spending five to save 20’ is a common phrase we use to demonstrate the importance of the home care relationship. For example, instead of pushing a loved one to the dining table in a wheelchair, allow your loved one to push themselves, if they are able to. 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 a Care Professional or family carer, understanding unique needs and preferences for care received, 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. Dedicated Care Professionals and loved ones or clients, should share their care experiences including the successes too! Through open communication and honest dialogue, Care Professionals and family carers can better cater to the individual’s needs and preferences, while at the same time having more fun doing it!
- Sharpen the saw. Being a Care Professional or family carer, 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 use it as a daily mantra. Understand that we are all human with needs and limits, just like the person being cared for. You wouldn’t expect a dull saw to cut down a tree effectively, like you can’t expect yourself to be effective in your care role if you don’t take the time you need to stay sharp.
By harnessing and developing these seven habits, family carers and dedicated Care Professionals, can help ensure that seniors are cared for with dignity and compassion, while at the same time practicing self-love, to be the best version of themselves to be better carers.
Support of a home care company like Home Care Assistance, can bring enormous benefit and comfort to your quality of life while living independently at home. Home Care Assistance has viable solutions when it comes to supporting independent living. For more information, get in touch with Home Care Assistance near me today.
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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.