Communication is truly the key to a successful in-home-care environment. As we mentioned in yesterday’s post, developing a plan before the need arises can ease the stress involved with transitioning into one’s twilight years. Therefore, creating an open forum for discussion within the family is essential when it comes to the specifics of everyday care.
According to the Family Caregiver Alliance, the first step in exploring care options is identifying what is most important to your aging loved one. “Projecting into the future is difficult, but it is important to educate yourself about choices and communicate how you feel about these,” the FCA says.
The FCA provides a wide range of resources to help family members and friends of individuals who are no longer able to care for themselves. The following questions serve as a great starting point when it’s time to talk about values and preferences:
- How much are we willing to spend for paid care?
- Who in
the family will take charge of caregiving and/or make the arrangements for care?
- What sacrifice of money or time is too much?
- What kind of help do we need right now? What do we think we might want in the future?
- Can we get used to having a stranger in our home to help us? Can we adjust to someone who speaks a different language?
While the above questions address the big picture, it’s also important to start discussing specifics, and the FCA says that small and personal choices can make a big difference. For example:
- How often do you want a bath? Is a shower all right? In the morning or at night?
- Would you rather have someone you know help with bathing or someone you don't know?
- Do you mind if someone of the opposite sex helps you with baths?
- What do you like to wear at home? When you go out?
- Do you like to exercise? How often?
- Do you like to go outdoors? Or do you prefer being inside, near a window?
- Would you rather be alone most of the time or have company?
Knowing the answers to these questions will inevitably improve your aging loved one’s experience with an in-home caregiver. And if you have any other questions, we here at Freedom Home Care encourage you to reach out to us. We’re here to help.