4 Ways to Prepare a Loved One for Home Health Care

Caring for an elderly or chronically ill family member can be exhausting, especially if you hold a job outside the home or have other responsibilities. A home health care nursing agency can provide significant help to ensure your loved one is well cared for, easing your concerns and allowing you to keep up with other demands. However, sometimes homebound elders become anxious when faced with the prospect of strangers coming into the home to care for them. Here are a few suggestions to help relieve their worries for a smooth transition.

Explain the need.

If your loved one can communicate clearly, help her to understand the ways in which a home health care nursing agency can provide needed assistance. Explain your work schedule or other responsibilities, such as children, so that your family member understands how agency employees can assist with things like personal care or doctor visits. You can also point out that the care will be on an as-needed basis, not around the clock, and that you will still be providing assistance much of the time.

Describe the help.

After discussing your family member’s specific needs with agency staff, tell your loved one about the type of help that will be provided by the agency member. If the nursing staff employee will do things a little differently, for example, bedside bathing rather than a tub bath or shower, explain that so your relative will not be alarmed by changes in the daily routine. Describe and introduce the agency staff members who will be helping: “Mrs. Miller has three grown children and lives within a few miles from here. She will be helping two days a week between 9 and 6 until I get home from work.”

Provide a buffer.

If possible, arrange to be at home with your relative for the first visit or two by the agency staff member. You can answer questions or offer suggestions for doing things the way your loved one prefers, when possible, to facilitate the transition.

Monitor at first.

Some families install a webcam in a loved one’s room or home so they can monitor agency help and the relative’s response. If a camera is not feasible, try to pop in during lunch to see how things are going. Be available by phone or text to answer questions, if needed. If disagreements arise, have those conversations away from your family member to avoid distressing her.

Caring for a feeble, ill, or aging family member can be wearing on the caregivers. Agency nursing support offers a welcome reprieve from the demands of daily care. Try tips like those above to ensure a smooth connection between your loved one and home health care employees. Visit BrightStar Care for additional resources on their website.

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