We need it now and likely will always need home care providers. Too many of us have developed disabilities of varying types and simply cannot function independent of the assistance of others.
What added preparation can mature, progressive home care providers give to your staff to help them manage what can be delicate human situations? You can and should use in-service sessions to teach empathy, emphasize fellow-feeling and human warmth while advancing the cause of person-centeredness.
I recall when taking care of the late Ms. Helen several years ago. She had no close relatives left. She had buried her parents, her brother, her husband and a niece or two. On any given day she felt all alone. I constantly emphasized the need for staff to allow her to reminisce while at the same time involving her in meaningful activities as a worthy distraction. This included dinner out, games and frequent lunch trips to her favorite Hungarian restaurant.
Ms. Anne lost her husband after fifty-nine, (59) years of marriage. She did have seven, (7) living children who were quite supportive in their own way, but none lived in her home. I reminded the staff to call them on her behalf and allow them to speak to her while at the same time never allowing her to sit in that apartment around-the-clock. When they checked her mail she was to go down with them and when a caterer served dinner in the building on Tuesdays and Thursdays, she was to join them.
Mr. Leroy was different. He ate a hearty breakfast but no lunch. He often went to bed by 7:00 p.m. His children were living and supportive but not around daily. He felt in-home care was suffocating. I told staff to give him space, yet let him vent when he wanted to and most of all, keep him busy. He went to breakfast on Saturday mornings, spent time in a local park and was allowed to ask to visit anywhere he so desired. In this way, he saw the staff’s ability to transport him as a new life luxury which also created a meaningful distraction from the annoyance he felt home care was, even as he managed a diagnosis of vascular dementia.
Surely most staff know how to render personal care and prepare a meal. However, teaching them to be a bit “super-human” when it comes to the other side of care and life, can make a world of difference.
Another Blog Post from the minds of Direct Care Training & Resource Center, Inc. and its Chief Executive, Bruce W. McCollum. Join us for a monthly podcast, next edition on ITunes called, “The Realities of Successful Home Care” – September 15, 2017.
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Photos and other images used are for the sole purpose of complementing written material and are not designed to imply or suggest an affiliation with or support by any individual or organization. Each person referenced in this Blog received care as part of a signed agreement that allows their names and certain limited information to be used in marketing controlled by Bruce McCollum to avoid violations of HIPAA laws.