Todd’s 80-year-old dad, Albert, had suffered a stroke and needed in-home care. Todd knew he couldn’t handle the responsibility on his own, but he also didn’t have any other family members who could help, so he hired a senior care provider using an agency. His dad’s regular senior care provider, Susan, was a wonderful woman and Albert really liked her. Yet, Todd still felt uneasy about having in-home care for his dad and he wasn’t sure what his role in Albert’s care should be. This left Todd wondering if he’d made the right decision in hiring someone at all.
Todd’s situation and feelings aren’t uncommon. Sometimes when a family first starts working with a senior care provider, they don’t know what they’re expected to do. They also wonder if the senior care provider knows to do all the things their parent needs. If you’re feeling a little uncertain about your role in your parent’s care now that you’ve hired a senior care provider, here are some tips to help you navigate your new role.
Know the Team.
If there are several people responsible for your parent’s care, such as other siblings, it can be helpful to sit down together and determine who will be responsible for which aspects of care. For example, you might find it helpful to know who will take charge of making sure your parent’s bills get paid and who will schedule appointments. This way, there’s no confusion, things don’t get missed, and two people aren’t trying to do the same task and creating more work than necessary. During this family meeting, determine what it is you want your parent’s senior care provider to take care of as well. That way you can communicate your expectations to the senior care provider, which will eliminate any guessing about the senior care provider’s role and help them to make sure your parent is receiving the best care possible.
Make a Care Plan.
You may find it helpful to write out a care plan that the entire team can refer back to as needed. The care plan can be as detailed as you see fit. You might find it helpful to create a schedule that shows who will be with your parent during the day and what each person is expected to do. This is especially helpful if a caregiver becomes ill or has an appointment so that someone else has to step in. The written plan tells the substitute what is expected and no tasks are missed.
Communication is Key.
Probably the best way to develop a positive relationship with your parent’s senior care provider is to open up the lines of communication. Share contact information and let the caregiver know they can call you with questions. It might be even be a good idea to start a notebook that all caregivers can jot down information about which tasks they did, your parent’s symptoms, or any concerns. This way caregivers can take a look at the notebook when they arrive and see how things are going that day. Even with a notebook, it’s still a good idea to personally speak with your parent’s caregiver from time to time. Doing so will help you to develop a level of comfort with one another so that you can speak honestly and clear up any issues that arise before they turn into a problem.
If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring senior care in Elizabeth, NJ, call the caring staff at Helping Hands Home Care today at 908-418-4299. Providing Home Care Services in all of Northern and Central NJ, including Clark, Westfield, Cranford, Scotch Plains, Rahway, Linden, Summit, Edison, Elizabeth, Mountainside and the surrounding areas.