Caregiving is a sophisticated and potentially stressful role. Whether you’re providing home care services to a family member or a close friend, helping someone manage their lives requires time, patience, and a willingness to learn. When you slow down and focus on building a good relationship with your patient, it becomes easier to provide consistent, high-quality care.
Are you new to caregiving or want to change your approach to the role? Keep reading to discover how you can improve your relationship with your family member or patient and form a lasting bond.
Caregiving is a tough job, and it’s natural to feel stressed. However, when you feel like caregiving duties are impacting your mental and physical health, it’s important to take a step back, remind yourself you aren’t alone, and acknowledge that it’s all right to take a break from your duties.
You can only provide high-quality care when you’re at your best, which means you need to allow yourself the time and resources to support your health. Whether you’re a trained professional or a spouse, son, daughter, friend, or neighbor stepping into the role, identify yourself as a caregiver and search for the resources you need to be successful.
Supporting a family member with home care services is intimate and challenging. If you have trouble navigating a scenario, the best course of action is to be transparent and reach out for help. Whether you need outside help to guide your caregiving efforts or you need your patient to clarify their personal care or companion care needs, good communication makes it easier to connect with your patient and reduce stress.
Many organizations like the Red Cross and National Family Caregivers Association offer caregiving courses and other resources to answer your questions and increase your comfort in the role.
Your loved one likely wants to stay at home. MDC Healthcare has the caregiving expertise to keep them comfortable and safe while they do so.
Sometimes, tension can grow between the caregiver and patient. While some friction may occur naturally now and then, when both parties respect each other’s preferences, belongings, and surroundings, comfort and cooperation increase.
Communicate with your patient and be empathetic to their condition. Active listening and patience helps you create a lasting and healthy relationship with your patient and encourages healing. As the famous American author Leo Buscaglia once said: “Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”
It’s okay to be a little selfish sometimes. You should reserve at least one day a week for self-care. Schedule respite care services for your family member or take them to an adult day center. Visit friends, spend time with your partner, run errands, or do whatever helps you relax and recharge. Spending some time alone during your caregiving schedule prevents caregiver burnout and ensures you can provide long-term care services.
Your family member’s caregiving needs can change with little notice. It’s essential to organize your home care services to account for any sudden developments. With careful planning, you’ll have the resources and solutions you need to maintain your loved one’s comfort.
Elder care plans have many forms. They can be an informal agreement or a detailed document. Regardless, a plan should help you do the following:
- Assess Your Caregiving Situation – Effective elder care plans start with a careful assessment. Gather information to build a comprehensive strategy that deals with all aspects of your loved one’s daily life. Consider how well they complete activities of daily living along with their current health status, financial situation, and medical documentation.
- Identify Care Needs – List all your concerns with your situation and prioritize them. Discuss these needs with your family member and agree on goals for improvement. Learn your patient’s vision for the future and identify resources to help them get there.
- Set Solid Care Goals – Identify all short- and long-term objectives and gather the tools needed to see them through. Subjects like financial planning require a lot of communication and cooperation between you and your loved one, and being proactive can help you secure the lifestyle they want to have.
Being a caregiver isn’t easy. Finding a balance between your caregiving duties and other responsibilities takes time and proper support. You may feel like you owe it to your loved one to do it all independently, but that isn’t true. You aren’t alone, and MDC Healthcare is here to provide the tools and resources you need to make your care plan a success. Whether you need guidance from our caregiving professionals or someone to step in to provide respite care, we’re ready to meet your specific needs.
Ready to improve your care plan? Reach out today.
MDC Healthcare delivers customizable, affordable, and culturally sensitive in-home health services to communities in Georgia.