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  • Miami Herald

How to Set Clear Expectations With a Home Care Provider

Home care is an excellent option for seniors who want to remain in their homes as long as possible. It can offer the same support services as residential senior living, but allows your loved one to remain independent and in familiar surroundings while still receiving the help they need.



When you hire a home care provider, you probably have expectations of the quality of care your loved one receives. While most agencies have procedures in place when establishing care, it’s still important to know what to ask for and expect going forward so that you and your loved one are satisfied. Communication is key to making sure all physical and medical needs are met and eliminating misunderstandings. Consider the following on how to establish care for your aging loved one.


START EARLY


Consider your loved one’s needs before you look for a home care provider. In-home care offers nonmedical assistance, meal planning, dressing, bathing, housekeeping and transportation. Home health care provides light medical assistance, including skilled nursing, pain management, physical therapy and IV care.


Before providing care, most agencies establish a home care plan. A good care plan requires input from several sources, including your loved one, their physician and the agency you hire to deliver services. It addresses an individual’s preferences, any required equipment, who will provide the services and how often. This plan is likely to change every few months with approval from you or your loved one’s physician.


BE DIRECT


Your relationship with your loved one’s caregiver is important, and excellent communication is vital. Expect some hard conversations to come up. For example, if your loved one requires constant supervision, you’ll want the caregiver to disconnect from social media and place all their time and attention on your family member. Instead of telling the caregiver you expect them to always stay off their phone, explain your loved one’s safety depends on them always being aware and attentive.


This communication works both ways. If your loved one is prone to emotional outbursts, your caregiver should be made aware of this and should be able to come to you during difficult times. Clear and consistent communication is vital for comprehensive care. Be direct yet subtle. Remember, your caregiver is a person with feelings and emotions and is there to help.


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