Supporting Family Caregivers: A Step-by-Step Guide
Family caregivers need more recognition than they now receive. They sacrifice their time to ensure that their sick loved ones receive the care they require. Having the help of a home care nurse or a personal support worker (PSW) can help to reduce a lot of stress for these caring people. You probably wish you could do even more to assist.
It’s more important than ever to support family caregivers. It is estimated that they will save the country’s health and community services sector $31 billion each year. The ability of people delivering this care to continue is critical for patients, families, and the healthcare system.
Families, in the end, require a variety of types of assistance. Most importantly, they want to know what is going on with their loved one’s medical treatment and care. They want to know that their ideas and decisions are valued and that their involvement is valued.
From managers to frontline employees, home care providers may do a lot to help ease family members’ stress and worry. If you work in the field, you know how important a little help can be.
In this piece, we’ll look at three of the most important ways you can contribute.
1) Pay attention to their requirements.
Family members are frequently concerned that their loved ones are not receiving the care and attention they deserve. When health care providers focus on patient-centered care principles, they are required to listen carefully. They truly listen to the needs, aspirations, and preferences of the people they’re caring for.
This is the type of communication that will reassure family members.
Knowing that the wishes of the individual you’re worried about are being met can give you a sense of relief. Consider what it would be like if your issues were also heard. You know how important it is to focus on those requirements as a health care or caregiving provider.
You realise how important it is to just listen, interpret, and respond effectively to information. Although these things are simple to describe, putting them into action is far more difficult.
According to studies, about half of adults have trouble recalling the details of a ten-minute spoken lecture just moments after it ends.
When it comes to home care, it’s critical to overcome listening difficulties. You must not only be aware of the family’s wants, but you must also be aware of delivering care instructions that are simple to understand and repeat.
As nurses and PSWs become busier, it’s easy for them to forget that even the most basic duties can be difficult to complete at first.
Health care personnel can effectively address the family’s concerns by carefully listening. To avoid any misconceptions, they might offer them clear and easy directions.
To indicate sincerely listening, employ techniques like making eye contact, avoiding internal distractions, and following up with suitable inquiries. Although it may appear to be a simple task, we are all guilty of allowing ourselves to get sidetracked when we shouldn’t be.
Active listening results in better instructions and education, fewer misunderstandings, and more efficient interactions when it comes to supporting family caregivers.
2) Collaborate as a group
The value of understanding a patient’s overall health status and ongoing treatment plans cannot be overstated by any caregiver. It’s essential to keep track of patients’ healthcare journeys.
Unfortunately, it is common for care plans to become perplexing to individuals concerned. Physical documents are not always updated as quickly as electronic records. As patient circles of care expand, coordinating efforts may fall behind. Unfortunately, because there are so many various types of health care providers involved – from doctors to specialists, pharmacists, and home health aides – any of them could end up treating a patient with outdated information.
Poor communication is a big contributor to this issue.
When families encounter problems like the ones described above, it’s normal for them to feel compelled to try to fill the role of care coordinator. Extreme stress and clashes with other members of the circle of care are the predictable outcomes. And then there’s caregiver burnout, which is unavoidable.
Care plans that are both coordinated and synchronized can make the process much easier, allowing the entire circle of care to work together toward the patient’s goals. This allows family members to witness the thinking and planning that went into providing care for their loved ones, giving them peace of mind that they are in good hands.
When it comes to helping family caregivers, you need to make sure you have a structure in place that keeps them informed about their loved one’s next steps. Every member should be involved and informed about any changes. With the correct technology, this can be accomplished quickly.
It’s crucial to choose an app that’s simple to use and can bring everyone together in one spot. This can make information storage easier and ensure that it is shared in real-time.
Managers should consider cultivating a culture that prioritizes the use of this technology. Home care staff should be aware of the significance and advantages of committing to it.
3) Make information readily available.
Is the only person who has to know what’s going on with a patient care provider?
It is not acceptable to leave family caregivers in the dark, and it is the responsibility of the health care professional to guarantee that this does not occur. Regardless of rank, every member of a patient’s circle of care has a responsibility to play.
Access to a patient’s health information and care plan not only assists family members in improving their loved one’s care, but also helps them relax. It offers individuals a sense of control, knowing that they have all of the most up-to-date and relevant information.
Giving family caregivers the tools they need to help others is a big part of supporting them. Family members who are well-informed are better equipped to make critical medical decisions for their loved ones. Of course, there are times when family members must function as decision-makers in their absence.
Whatever their obligations, one thing is certain: family caregivers are considerably more likely to be distressed if they cannot access their loved one’s current information.
Another instance in which digital technology can help is when there is a power outage. For a long time, the health revolution has been generating a lot of buzzes. Of course, concerns about technology compatibility and data security have arisen.
However, in recent years, these solutions have matured and progressed. Anyone who has been given the authorization to see real-time health data can now simply access it. This data can be seen or changed at any time, from anywhere.
When looking for new technology, home care providers should think about the benefits of real-time updates and mobile device accessibility. Consider these characteristics from the perspectives of both family caregivers and patients.
Managers may aid their firms by ensuring that their employees have access to the appropriate technology. In the end, effective communication will be the deciding factor.