Communication in the home care setting is one of the most effective tools for achieving the desired results.
Too often, miscommunication leads to further complications in either a hospital setting or in the home.
Health care in the hospital can be very confusing for senior patients that are not adequately prepared for their visit. Having all the pertinent information ready, along with any questions you may have, upon arrival can reduce miscommunication and stress.
The health care system in Canada does not currently offer the best organization in the first place, as patient records get transferred from paper to digital. Having a list of health conditions, symptoms, and medications prepared in advance can help clear up any inconsistencies in the records.
Just as it is important to prepare for a visit to the doctor or hospital, it is also useful to prepare for home care services to get the most out of it.
This starts with open communication between caregivers and the seniors they are providing care for.
Communication Importance for Caregivers
Communication on both sides is essential to making the home care situation work to its optimal potential.
Caregivers can benefit from good communication, by:
- Having a better understanding of needs
- A clearer picture of emotional state
- Learning more about lifestyle of person receiving care
- More involvement with family members
- Identifying need for change
It is almost impossible to provide effective care for someone if you do not have an accurate idea of what their needs are.
Assuming too much about a situation, without having an actual conversation about it, can have negative results.
The best way to learn about the needs of the person you are caring for is by asking the right questions.
Asking questions is also helpful for determining the emotional state of the senior in your care.
The more you understand about the emotional position and capability of the care receiver, the deeper level of care you will be able to provide.
These types of discussions generally lead to a more trusting relationship, which will contribute to more effective care.
Lifestyle choices have a profound impact on overall health. Knowing about the regular routines and lifestyle of the person you are caring for is crucial for constructing an effective care plan.
Some lifestyle factors of interest, include:
- Diet and nutrition
- Consistent exercise
- Quantity and quality sleep
- Regular social interaction
- Personal hygiene
Failing to give enough attention to any of these factors can result in a deterioration of health for seniors.
Getting family members involved can be extremely helpful for sharing the responsibility and getting multiple perspectives.
Communication with family ensures that everyone stays up to date on the progress of improving health.
Need for Change
The health status of seniors can change in the blink of an eye. New health issues can spring up at any time, especially if the situation is not being properly monitored.
Communication about any changes in health, or home care services that are just not working, can determine when changes are needed in the home care plan.
Significance of Communication for Seniors
While is important for caregivers to get involved in communication, it is even more critical for seniors to take an active role in communication about their home care.
They are the ones that truly know what is needed to help them improve health and manage daily tasks and activities.
Seniors can benefit from communication, by:
- Outlining objectives
- Addressing concerns
- Retaining independence
The best way to ensure you, or your loved one, are getting the best home care services available is though communicating needs.
This can start by laying out what you hope to achieve from your caregiver.
Are you mainly concerned with improving mobility and physical strength? Maybe you are more interested in keeping your mind sharp and active? Perhaps you just need a little assistance with daily routines, or some additional social activity?
Whatever the case may be, outlining your objectives can be the clearest path to accomplishing goals.
Don’t be shy about speaking up if you are having concerns about your health, or the home care practices being used to improve it.
If you have problems with something your caregiver is doing, it is much better to address it head on than let it fester and create resentment.
For many seniors that wish to continue living at home, it all comes down retaining a workable level of independence.
Communicating about what is needed to make that happen is the best way to construct a practical plan.
This could be as simple as having a caregiver come in to help with housekeeping or personal hygiene, or it may be something more involved, like rehabbing an injury or illness.