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You’ve decided on home care for your elderly parent, interviewed your candidates, and prepped your home. Now, the first day of home care has arrived!
What you do on the first day is extremely important.
- It sets the tone for the care environment you would like to achieve.
- Your attitude and work on day one of hired care goes a long way in making your elderly parent feel comfortable with the new arrangement.
- Expectations are set with your new home care worker that have lasting impact on the kind of care your elderly parent will receive.
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What You Should Do On Day One of Hired Care for Your Elderly Parent
You want to make sure you are starting this new member of your care team off on a very positive note. To do that, you will need to
Remind them who they are caring for.
Spend a few moments before taking your new worker in to see your elderly parent, reminding them about who they will be caring for. Pull out your parent’s personality profile and go back over it. Your hired person likely has several people they see regularly.
It’s important that you remind them who your parent is, their likes and dislikes, how they enjoy spending their time, and just giving them a basic overview of your parent. This way, they feel comfortable and confident when they go in to see your parent.
When your hired care person doesn’t feel like your elderly parent is a stranger they won’t treat them like one. This makes your elderly parent feel confident that they are not being cared for by a stranger.
You’ll also want to let your new home care worker know what to expect concerning the negative parts of your elderly parent’s personality. For instance, my MIL is very prone to manipulating new help into giving her food and drink her diet doesn’t allow. She also likes to see how easily shocked or embarrassed someone will become. That means she often talks about socially inappropriate topics (like sex), will point out her perceived physical imperfections, and will question them about religion and politics. She can also get quite rude and short tempered with new care providers.
These are all things I warn anyone new about so they know it’s “normal” behavior. It keeps them from being easily offended or alarmed.
It’s at this time that you’ll want to review exactly what you expect from your hired home care worker. Go over their daily duties, any home rules, and your elderly parent’s dietary needs.
Related Post: Establishing Your Role As Caregiver
Give them a tour.
After spending a few moments talking about your parent, you’ll want to show your new home care worker around. As you’re taking them through the home, make sure to casually mention the areas they will not need to use. You can tell them what it is but also make it clear that it’s not an area they need to enter. ”This is the master bedroom but you shouldn’t have to go in there.
Start in the kitchen. Show them only what they need to know for their care duties. This keeps them from feeling overwhelmed and lets them know that everything else in the kitchen is inconsequential.
Next, take them to the bathroom that they will use. Show them where you keep your parent’s bathing and hygiene essentials. Give them instructions on what you’d like done.
- Does your elderly parent sit when they shower?
- Will they want a shave?
- Do they prefer to shower themselves, require limited assistance, or need to be showered.
- Is modesty a concern for you elderly parent?
- Give them the tips you’ve discovered for making showering less of an issue.
My MIL is most compliant to shower when she can anticipate a meal so I always tell my hired home care that it’s best to shower right before they make her lunch. She needs to sit in a shower chair and she likes to hold the shower wand while she’s being bathed. We’ve found an inexpensive towel warmer that we put a towel and her nightgown in for after she steps out. She needs her chin shaved once a week and wants her hair blow dried so she doesn’t get cold with wet hair.
Related Post: How to Get To Know Someone Who Can’t Communicate
Introducing them to your elderly parent.
Now that you’ve given them an overview of your parent’s personality (both the good and the bad) and a tour of your home, it’s time to take them in to see your elderly parent.
When introducing them:
- Use the names both your elderly parent and your new care provider wish to be called. My MIL no longer likes to be called “Mrs.” but rather wants to be called by her first name. Therefore, I always introduce her by her first name so there is no confusion or question.
- Have a cheerful and matter-of-fact tone when telling your elderly parent why this person is here. ”She is going to help you with lunch and a shower while I do xyz. They’re also going to be here to help you put a movie on or listen to some music. If you need anything at all, she is here to help you until I get back.”
Give them some space.
After your overview, home tour, and introduction it’s time to let your hired home care worker do their job. Stay nearby in case there are any questions or concerns but for the most part, you’ll want to give your hired care worker and elderly parent some time to get to know each other and work toward establishing their new relationship.
Hiring home care to help you take care of your elderly parent is a big responsibility but it is so important for your mental health as a caregiver. Following these strategies on the first day of home care will set you and your parent up for a successful addition to your caregiving team.
Did you like this post? Do you have any tips for the first day of home care? Let me know in the comments below.
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