Getting Along: Ten Tips for Working with Professional
Fiona F. Middleton, M.S.M.
GRISWOLD SPECIAL CARE
is always difficult. When the change involves inviting a stranger
home, or the home of a family member, for a few hours daily, or on
a live-in basis, the adjustments can be tough for everyone.
relationships are based on expectations. Family members, the person
and the caregiver should each identify expectations early in the
The client will have certain expectations about the way care should be provided.
For example, clients and family members should expect the caregiver to fit
into existing routines, rather than the other way around. The care recipient
will also have an expectation that the caregiver will show up for work on
time, and maintain a professional demeanor.
caregiver will also have some expectations. Taking a few moments
or her first visit to find out what each person expects
of the other
will reduce stress and lead to a better relationship. Below are some suggestions
that will help the adaptation process for both families and their caregivers.
an open line of communication. Offer feedback to the caregiver
so she knows when she is on track.
about telephone usage, TV watching, food, noise, and other issues
that someone might discuss
with a new housemate.
- Let the
caregiver know how she can help. Be clear and specific with instructions.
down appointments and keep a checklist of items that can be completed
if the caregiver has extra time.
a list of emergency telephone numbers in a prominent location (e.g.,
on the refrigerator). Make
advance directives or living
in case of an emergency.
- Let the
caregiver know when she does something well or exceeds expectations.
the caregiver’s performance could improve through a change
in her behavior, be as specific as possible. Address the behavior
that should be changed,
but try not to criticize the caregiver on a personal level.
possible, give the caregiver advance notice of his or her schedule.
If the schedule changes, let your caregiver
of time so
she can make alternate arrangements.
that the caregiver is only human, not a machine. She will need occasional
eat, relax, or enjoy
a change of
- Be generous
with your praise. The caregiver probably began her profession because
she has a desire to help
how good she is
making someone feel will probably make her day!