Should the Home Care Provider Answer Your Parents' Phone?

Posted: 7/1/2015 9:19 AM by Interim HealthCare
Hiring a home care provider is an exceptional way to ensure your elderly loved ones get the level of care and assistance they need on a regular basis when you are not available to be in the home with them. With the physical care, mobility assistance, transportation, mental stimulation, and compassionate companionship the in home health care services provider offers your parents, she is going to be in the home with them for a considerable amount of time, possibly multiple hours every day.

All of this time the care provider spends in the home with your parents means that she will encounter situations where she may not know exactly what she should do. For example, if someone comes to the door or the phone rings, the care provider may not know how she should handle it. If you are considering hiring a caregiver for your elderly loved ones, it is important that you make decisions about these situations ahead of time so you can clarify your expectations with the care provider and avoid confusion, frustration, and other possible problems.

One of these important decisions is whether the home care provider should be responsible for answering your aging loved ones' phone, and how she should handle it whenever the need arises. This is a very personal decision you must make by evaluating your elderly parents' needs and abilities, and determining if having a care provider answer the phone would benefit them or if it may threaten their sense of independence.

Some things to consider when determining if your elderly loved ones should remain responsible for answering their own phone or if the care provider should have permission to do this while she is on duty include:

• Are your parents coping with symptoms of memory loss or cognitive processing limitations that may make it difficult for them to remember how to answer the phone or carry on a conversation appropriately?

• Could their cognitive impairments or personalities make them more vulnerable to telephone scams that could put their finances or identities at risk?

• Are your parents comfortable with the care provider answering the phone and taking messages for them, or would they prefer to have an answering machine that you could review for them?

• Can your parents hear the phone when it rings and clearly hear the person on the other end?

If you determine that it is either in your parents' best interests for the care provider to answer the phone, or you want to give her permission to if the need arises, make sure you are clear about how she should handle calls, including:

• How she should answer the phone

• How she should introduce herself

• When and if she should give calls over to your parents

• How and where to take messages for your parents

• When she should let the answering machine pick up the calls

• If and when she should tell you about specific calls or callers, or if she should give you copies of the messages

If you have an aging loved and are considering Home Care Services, call Interim HealthCare today.