What to Expect on the First Day of Home Care

Posted: 5/1/2015 10:34 AM by Interim HealthCare

Home Care Services by Interim: The Story of One Family's Adaptation to Home Care

Roy had always been fiercely independent and self-reliant, but a bad fall and mild memory loss had made it difficult for him to handle his activities of daily living on his own. His wife, Natty, did everything she could to help him, but her own physical limitations made it impossible for her to do everything. Soon their son realized that things were not being taken care of around the house, Roy seemed a bit disheveled, and Natty seemed overwhelmed. Jim knew that aging in place was incredibly important to both of his parents so he decided that home care was the right choice for helping them stay healthy, safe, and happy while also preserving as much of their independence as possible.

Jim called the elder care agency in his area and told them about his father's needs. Jim met with a representative from the agency and then several care providers. Once he had selected the caregiver he felt was a good choice for his father's care, they scheduled the first day of care.

On the first day of home care, Jim made sure Roy and Natty knew a care provider was coming and gave them a brief overview of what they were going to do on a daily basis. He reassured both of them that he would stay there for the first day of care and would help them get used to the new caregiver. When Anthony arrived, the representative from the agency was with him. Together, they all sat down and introduced Anthony to Roy and Natty.

Roy was reluctant at first, not sure if he was comfortable with the idea of a man he didn't know coming into his home and helping him. It wasn't until Anthony noticed a picture of Roy and Natty riding their horses when they were younger and started talking about his own favorite hobbies that Jim noticed his father relaxing and starting to connect with the care provider. Soon the agency representative excused himself and left Anthony to move forward with his first day of caring for Roy.

Jim brought Anthony on a tour of the house, showing him the kitchen, the bathrooms, the living room, and the laundry room. He pointed out Roy's favorite coffee cup and where the towels were kept. As they went through the home Jim filled Anthony in on the challenges he had seen Roy facing and the ways Natty tried to care for him. Anthony agreed to continue making Natty a central part of Roy's care, recognizing that after 50 years of marriage, her participation was essential for Roy's mental health and sense of security.

Jim stayed at the home throughout the first day of care. At the end of the day he sat down with Anthony and gave him recommendations for how to handle certain tasks as well as a printout of Roy's care plan and some notes he had made. He then spent some time with his parents, talking with them about Anthony and how they felt the care relationship had started and how they felt about it continuing. Together they decided Anthony was a great fit for them and let the agency know that they would like to hire him full-time.

Getting started with home care can be an intimidating experience, but getting through the first day is the first step toward a confident and beneficial relationship. On the first day of care, expect to spend some time letting your elderly parents and the care provider get to know each other. If they have not met before this, take the time to make introductions and let them get used to one another. Give the care provider a tour of the home and offer instructions for your parents' care. Take some time once the care provider leaves to talk with your parents about how they feel about the care provider so together you can make a decision about the continuation of the care relationship. Do not hesitate to stay in touch with the elder care agency to ask questions, give feedback, and request a different care provider if necessary. 

If you have an aging loved one and are considering home care services, contact Interim HealthCare today.