Providing care is challenging for many reasons, but most of the time you can be sure that it is more challenging for your clients.
In home care is a great option for those who need more care than their loved ones can provide, but who want to remain in their own homes. In-home care can help clients feel more relaxed and at ease with carers, simply because they are in a familiar environment with their home comforts all around them, but this level of comfort is only attainable if carers make an effort to make it so.
For a client, opening up their home to perfect strangers (to begin with), is a difficult task. Many people are very private, and the thought of having people coming in and going through cupboards and drawers is often a lot to adjust to, and that’s before even thinking about allowing that person to assist them with personal care.
Following is a short list of tips on how to put your clients at ease, and to help them feel comfortable with receiving in-home care.
Over time, it is easy to slip into the habit of treating client’s homes as if they are your own. Some clients certainly prefer that you make yourself at home during visits, but it is important to never take this for granted. For example, if one of your clients regularly offers you a cup of tea when you arrive, don’t assume it’s okay to help yourself on a day that she doesn’t offer.
When you are providing in-home care, it is almost inevitable that you will have to go through client’s drawers and cupboards to find things you need (clothes, medications, creams, incontinence products, etc) unless they (or their loved ones) are able to have these things organised and ready for your visits. When you do so, ask permission first, and make sure that you leave everything as you found it.
Providing person-centred care is all about tailoring the client’s care to their own needs and preferences, rather than fitting them into your schedule to make things easier for you. In a perfect world, we could go to the client at whatever time they wish and stay for as long as they would like. Unfortunately, in the real world, compromises have to be made but this does not mean that we mustn’t try. If you know that your client doesn’t like to be rushed out of bed, spend a little time at the beginning of your visit doing the dishes and getting things ready, rather than rushing them straight up. If you know your client doesn’t like to be washed while sitting on the toilet or the commode, busy yourself with other things whilst they get on with their private business.
Many clients adjust well to in home care, and carer visits quickly become a part of their routine – but never assume that this is the case. Always think about how you’d like to be treated if it were you in their shoes.