Communication is very important when choosing the right home care agency for your loved one, but the communication has to begin with your parent first. In order to ask the right questions, you have to understand the needs and wishes of your parent.
Bringing up the topic of an aging parent’s needs and long-term care isn’t easy. How well the conversation will go depends largely on the state of your current relationship, as well as the mental, physical and emotional health of your parent.
Putting off these serious discussions to avoid conflict or guilt is too easy. Many people decide to take on the responsibility of finding a home care agency themselves, without consulting the elder involved. However, not taking the time to understand what your loved one wants, and establishing a mutually beneficial plan may result in more conflict, and extreme heartache and suffering for all involved.
When you talk with your parent, keep these tips in mind:
- Be open and honest. Tell your parent how you feel.
- Reassure the senior that you will find the best care possible. That you are working towards the solution for everyone.
- Give your loved one a sense of control by involving him in the selection and communication process.
- Be honest about your own needs and your time and energy limits.
Once you have assessed the needs of you and your parent, and the options available, you are ready to discuss these needs with a home care agency.
The Agency Works for You
One of the biggest mistakes people make is letting the service dictate terms. The home care agency is working for you. What you and your parent want is what matters. If the agency can’t satisfy these needs, then you should find someone who can. That is why communication is so important. You need open and honest communication with the agency so that all parties involved understand exactly what to expect.
Usually, an agency represents several caregivers. It is their job to find the right caregiver for you. By asking the right questions, and outlining your needs, the agency is better equipped to set you up with the right provider. Sometimes personalities clash, or a certain provider is not willing to perform certain duties. The agency will make sure that the provider they send to care for your parent is a good match.
Communication is also important at the negotiation stage. Make sure you know all of the details – read all the fine print. Just in case something doesn’t work out, you don’t want to find out later that you are stuck in a five year contract. You also need to make sure that a replacement caregiver will be provided if the primary aide isn’t available.
Before you visit or call a home care agency, make a list of the questions you should ask. This will help to open up the lines of communication and ensure you don’t forget to ask some vital questions.
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