Communicating With Your Home Care Agency

Sep 30, 14 Communicating With Your Home Care Agency

The aging process usually brings about more hospital stays or more medical care, but today seniors are able to enjoy the later years in the comfort of home. The daily care often shifts to family members and caregivers, leading to a dramatic increase in responsibility and little training on how to provide medical support care to their loved ones. Using a home care agency is an invaluable resource for families to learn skills and find resources. Here are some ways that caregivers can work together and communicate with their home care support team.

Know that you are part of the health care team.
As a family member, you are an integral part of the health care team. You know your loved one best. You can provide the team with vital information and share unique insight. As a team member, feel open to share and ask questions. The goal of agencies is to understand a patient or caregivers concerns and issues, and understand the level of care expected. With open dialogue, everyone is on the same page when it comes to your loved one’s home care plan. After all, you are your family member’s best advocate.

Be present at the beginning of each home care shift.
Check the schedule and make sure you’ll be home when the home care agency nurse or therapist arrives. You should always touch base with the staff member who is caring for your loved one, even if it’s just to check in on what type of care is planned for that day. It’s advised that you also get your nurse’s cell phone just in case you need to inquire about something, ask a question, or contact the nurse in an emergency.

Do a self-assessment.
You’ll make a habit of checking on everyone else and neglect checking in with yourself. It’s important that you assess how you are doing and how you are managing the stress of being a caregiver. If you’re not managing stress well, this is an indication that you need to seek a resource that can provide your support.

Be open with your home care agency.
If you are feeling overwhelmed, let your home care nurse know. Be human and let your guard down. The nurse or other home care professional may have a resource that they can provide. Nurses can also give you tips and strategies to reduce stress and minimize anxiety. Remember, it is a team effort and when one team member is struggling, the home care team can feel it too.

The health of your loved one depends on you staying healthy too. Take care of yourself while you care for the medical needs of your family. For more information visit Capital City Nurses

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