Day 1 with a new home care patient usually feels a little overwhelming for your client AND for you. So, what can you do to make the transition easier? Here are the five top strategies.
How to Tackle Day 1 with a New Home Care Patient
Do Your Homework
It’s helpful to go into a situation knowing what to expect. In most cases, the client’s family or the agency for which you work will be happy to provide some basic background information. You may want to ask questions such as:
- How does the patient feel about home care? Excited? Nervous? Upset?
- Has the patient worked with other caregivers in the past?
- Did they like/dislike past caregivers? Why?
- What does the patient enjoy? Listening to music? Arts and crafts? Socializing?
- What duties will I be expected to perform?
- Does the patient have a preferred schedule? Wakeup time? Mealtime? Bedtime?
Introduce Yourself Properly
Research shows first impressions tend to have a lasting impact. Therefore, do your best to get off on the right foot. Greet your new client in a friendly, professional manner, explain your role and try to form a connection. For example, if you learned your patient loves football, talk about the most recent Patriot’s game (or THEIR favorite team). For more expert tips, check out this post on How to Introduce Yourself to New Home Care Patients.
Discuss Their Preferences
Tell your patient you are there for them and discuss their preferences. Especially if they are opposed to home care, this tactic will make them feel as though they have more control. For instance, you could ask, “Do you prefer to eat lunch at noon or 12:30?” Of course, you may not be able to accommodate all their requests. However, you can work together to design a best- (or at lease better-) case scenario.
You want to do your job on Day 1, but you don’t want to cause your patient undue stress. As a result, start slow. Rather than reorganizing their kitchen (even if this does need to get done), just fix them a basic meal. You can tackle bigger projects in the upcoming weeks and months ahead. Ease into the first few days by focusing on building your relationship and establishing a workable routine.
Some clients will have extensive lists, while others may not know what they want you to do. In both situations, be patient. Together, you’ll figure things out. Remember, setting up a perfect system by the end of Day 1 is completely unrealistic. The entire process takes time.
Would You Like to Work with Home Care Patients?
Anodyne is hiring caregivers and HHAs for positions throughout Eastern Massachusetts. We would be happy to match you with right-fit placements so you can have a successful Day 1 and beyond. Learn more about the benefits of job hunting through Anodyne today!