Posted by Eva Owens
Whether you're a new Individual Provider or a more experienced Home Care Aide who is working with a new client, don't miss these 5 tips for starting your new caregiver-client relationship off on a good foot. Clients, do you have any more caregiving tips? Let us know below!
Be on time. Period. Do you perpetually run late? Do it what it takes to avoid this habit. Getting out the door with all of your gear, traffic to contend with, and errands to run takes more time than you’d think. Make sure to leave more than enough time to get to your job on time. Be realistic, not optimistic about how long getting to work can take. Pro-tip: Set an alarm on your phone for 15 minutes before when you need to leave for work.
Leave your problems and phone at the door. Both phones and personal problems can be absorbing, but your client already has enough stress. Phone usage can leave you distracted and unfocused, when you need to be focused on your client. Do you have family members that depend on you? Give them a special ringtone for when they call or text, so that even when your phone is put away, they can still reach you in an emergency.
Look professional and presentable. Your appearance matters. Make sure that you're freshly showered and that you dress professionally for your caregiving job. Groom your hair and nails appropriately. Remember, don’t use strong scents that might bother a client who is sensitive to odors.
Ask about your clients illnesses or medical conditions. This is especially important if they have the possibility of a medical emergency. Ask to keep a folder at the client’s house with their emergency contacts and emergency instructions. Even if you don’t handle medication management, don’t forget to ask your client where they keep their list of medications in case it’s needed in an emergency.
Ask open ended questions. Learn about your client’s preferences and routines. For example, ask “What do you like to eat for breakfast?” instead of “Do you like eggs for breakfast?” Another great question to ask your clients is: “Tell me more about a typical day in your house?” This allows your clients to talk about what is important to them and share their routines with you.
Do you have a tip that you’d like to share that are not on this list? Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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