Developing a Partnership With an In-Home Care Provider

You may have been the primary caretaker of your aging parent for some time. You may now be at the juncture at which you and your parent believe some additional professional assistance at home may be appropriate. You and your mother or father may be at the point where you are intending to engage the services of an in-home care provider. As a consequence, you may now be wondering what steps you can take to cultivate a partnership and best collaborate with a homecare aide. 

Through this article, we provide you some suggested steps to take to develop a useful partnership and effective collaboration with your parent’s homecare aide:

  • Clarify the purpose of homecare
  • Get to know the homecare aide
  • Communicate with the homecare provider
  • Be flexible with the in-home care aide
  • Consider suggestions from the homecare aide

Clarify the Purpose of Homecare

A key strategy to employ in order to develop a purposeful partnership with an in-home care provider is to clarify the purpose of that professional’s work. Simply put, you and the homecare aide take a meaningful step in the development of a partnership by defining with specificity what will and will not be done on behalf of your parent in his or her home. 

A homecare aide can provide a variety of services, depending on the needs of your aging parent. The key is to make certain that you and the homecare aide are on the same page when it comes to precisely the services that your parent will need. According to the AARP, these are examples of services most commonly provide by an in-homecare provider:

  • Seniors who struggle with mobility and need assistance safely moving throughout their home
  • Seniors with impaired motor skills who need assistance with daily household tasks
  • Seniors who no longer drive and need transportation to appointments, the grocery store, friends’ houses, and more
  • Seniors who are isolated and desire the companionship of a caregiver 
  • Seniors who need assistance with ADLs including meal preparation, bathing, and more
  • Seniors in need of housekeeping services such as cleaning and grocery shopping 
  • Seniors in the early stages of memory impairment 

Get to Know the Homecare Aide

While you certainly do not need to become “best of friends” with a homecare aide working for your parent, you should get to know that individual on a professional and friendly level. In fact, becoming chums with the person hired to provide professional assistance on behalf of your mother likely is not a good course. A professional relationship in which you come to know the homecare aide in a friendly manner is appropriate and advisable. 

By developing an appropriately friendly relationship with a homecare aide, the benefits associated with hiring this type of professional to assist your parent are likely to be optimized. When a relationship with a homecare aide is professional, strong and friendly, these benefits are likely to be enhanced in turn:

  • By hiring a home health aide, seniors are able to live in comfort and safety at home longer or indefinitely. 
  • Home health aides will give seniors peace of mind, knowing that someone is there with them to help if they need it. 
  • Activities of daily living can be supported at home with home care services. 
  • A home health aide can ensure that a person is eating well and eating enough. 
  • Home health aides also provide companionship. 
  • A home health aide can also help with keeping the home environment hygienic and safe by doing light chores like doing the dishes and vacuuming.
  • If more extensive medical care is needed, some home health aides can provide these services to ensure that seniors are well taken care of and receiving their treatments.
  • Home health care is also typically more affordable than a facility or hospital care. 

Communicate With the Homecare Provider

Communication is a crucial part of creating a beneficial partnership between you and the homecare aide engaged to provide assistance to your parent. Communication with an in-home care provider should be direct, respectful, and regular. Examples of how you can enhance communication with a homecare aide include the following tactics:

  • Avoid Interrupting.
  • Be an excellent listener.
  • Ask open-ended questions.
  • Be sensitive to concerns.
  • Maintain a professional appearance.
  • Always be honest.
  • Don’t be afraid of being human.
  • Understand that everyone is different.

You should also schedule a specific time each week to have a meeting with the homecare aide to ensure that everyone is on the same page. This weekly meeting can make sure any issues that have arisen can be addressed appropriately. 

Be Flexible With the In-Homecare Aide

When it comes to providing assistance with tasks of day to day living for your parent, keep in mind that the homecare aide needs some level of flexibility. A homecare aide needs to have some leeway to approach tending to your parent’s care with some level of reasonable flexibility.

While on most days your parent may want to undertake grooming tasks first thing in the morning, that may not always be the case. While it certainly is better for a person to start a day by grooming and preparing in that manner, it is perfectly fine for anyone to deviate from such a routine from time to time. Thus, you should not require the caregiver to be rigid and in turn impose that sense of rigidity on your mother or father.

Consider Suggestions From the Homecare Aide

You need to keep in mind that the homecare aide is a professional. A homecare aide has specialized training and experience. As a consequence, you are wise to consider suggestions that the homecare aide may have in regard to the assistance your parent requires. 

When the homecare aide makes suggestions, you should consider them from the vantage point that the professional has your parent’s best interests in mind. You should not take suggestions made by the in-home care provider as criticism. You might want to carve out time in the weekly meeting suggested a moment ago to hear suggestions that the caregiver might have currently.