Good communication is essential in a home care setting for everyone involved. Open communication makes the situation more beneficial for the people getting cared for, their families, and caregivers as well.
Poor communication can quickly lead to misunderstandings, resentment, and the development of serious health conditions.
There are often issues with communication in the Canadian healthcare system, as the country struggles to organize records and get them transferred from paper to digital.
Therefore, it is up to caregivers and family members to make sure there is an open flow of information exchange, and everyone is on the same page.
Effective communication is a valuable tool required in many areas of life, but is especially important when it comes to health and wellbeing.
Improving Home Care with Good Communication
Sitting down and making a list of intentions and goals you wish to accomplish with home care is an excellent way to start.
Once your objectives have been laid out, they can be shared with caregivers, family members, doctors, and other health care professionals.
This can really help to clarify the situation and get everyone working towards the same outcome and desired results.
Benefits of Communication in Home Care
There are several advantages to be gained for everyone in involved in your home care scenario when they are communicating openly and frequently.
Some useful benefits of good communication, might be:
- Understanding needs of person receiving care
- Understanding health risks and contributing factors
- Getting a read on emotional state
- Making changes when appropriate
- Stress reduction
- Chance for seniors to take a more active role in care
This may be one of the greatest benefits of good communication. Too often seniors do not have a full understanding of the severity of existing health conditions, or about the methods being used to treat and manage them.
If the details are explained in simple, easy to understand terms, everyone will have a better idea of what to expect from the situation.
This is not always easy, especially when communicating with doctors. Sometimes doctors do not use the best language to share information with their patients.
Family members can help by asking the right questions at doctor appointments to get the necessary information, and then share that information with home caregivers to make an effective care plan.
Communication between caregivers and your loved one is crucial for understanding personal needs.
Everyone has different needs, and preferred methods for meeting those needs. Talking openly about expectations and specific problems can really help in arriving at a practical solution.
Some people may prefer a more direct approach, while others may find that too invasive. It may take time to figure out different communication styles for achieving the best results.
Health problems can be caused by a wide range of factors. Some causes may be preventable, while others may be hereditary or due to special circumstances.
It is important for caregivers to know about the lifestyle of the person they are providing care for. The best way to get that information is through communication.
Some possible health risks may include:
- Poor diet
- Lack of exercise
- Lack of sleep
- Social isolation
- Bad habits – smoking, drugs, excessive alcohol consumption
- Squalid living conditions
When a caregiver has a clear picture of the emotional state of the person they are providing care for, it makes it possible to provide a deeper level of care. It also helps form a more trusting relationship, making the home care practices more effective.
Emotional distress can compromise the home care situation, and communication can help get to the root of the issue.
Altering the Care Plan
There are times when the current home care plan is just not working, and needs to be changed up.
If there is good communication between caregiver and care receiver on a regular basis, it makes it easier for caregivers to track progress, and make sure the most appropriate home care services and delivery methods are being used.
Providing home care can be a stressful situation for caregivers, as well as the seniors they are caring for, and their families.
A good way to relieve stress and anxiety is talking about worries and concerns. This again helps building a trusting relationship with caregivers.
Active Role in Care
Good communication also means seniors taking a more active role in their own home care. Voicing opinions and concerns helps ensure the right needs are being addressed.
This also helps seniors feel more in control of what happens to them, and encourages a more independent lifestyle.