Over the years, we’ve worked with countless clients who initially resisted having care in their home when we met them. Along the way, we’ve learned a tremendous amount about how to overcome this resistance and have developed an 8-step approach to help our clients accept the care that they truly need. Our last blog post was Step #1: Choose the Right Caregiver. After all of the screening and matchmaking has taken place, your caregiver is ready to start work, right? Well, almost…there are some additional steps you’ll want to take to ensure that everything goes according to plan once care begins.
Step #2: Set Your Caregiver Up For Success
The second step in helping someone with dementia accept care is to set your caregiver up for success. In the home care industry, it’s not uncommon for a caregiver to be handed a client’s name and address from their employer, leaving them to figure out the rest upon arrival! We know that this approach, particularly when we’re working with clients who have dementia, is usually destined to fail.
What does work well is spending enough time —before the start of care— with the client and their family, gleaning insights into the client’s background, social history, preferences, and triggers. Through a series of assessments and conversations, we can assemble a care plan that outlines the daily routine, personal care needs, and any cognitive or social issues that will impact how we approach each day. The caregiver also needs to know about the client’s personal history, so she can engage the client in conversations and activities that help create the bond between the client and caregiver. Having information about which foods might redirect the client away from a challenging moment, or which Frank Sinatra song will help turn their mood around, help us elevate the quality of care for our clients.
At Tender Rose, in addition to conducting an in-home assessment with the client (often with key relatives or friends present), we have our clients’ family caregivers complete a series of online assessments covering behaviors, personal care needs and an extensive social history. The life story questionnaire from the folks over at CPI is a good example of this type of assessment. This information is critical in establishing a good understanding of the person for whom we’re providing care and setting the caregiver up for success.
This blog post is Part 2 of an 8-part series on how to
overcome refusal of care with someone who has dementia.