“It’s a very ancient saying, but a true and honest thought, that if you become a teacher by your pupils you’ll be taught.”
That’s the opening line from “Getting to Know You”, a song in The King and I. At Midnight Sun Home Care we’ve discovered that it’s true even if you’re not a teacher in a classroom.
Over the years we’ve learned many lessons from our clients and their families. One of the most important lessons we’ve learned is that introductions are the most significant piece of a relationship. If we can get the introductions right, then we can build a solid foundation of trust, respect, and care with the people we’re taking care of as well as their families. This can be especially difficult if a client doesn’t realize that they need help.
The first step we take is to determine the level and amount of care that a client is going to need. We sit down with the client and their family and form a Care Plan that we will use to plan the course of their care – both long and short term. When this is determined we will ask some questions to get to know our clients so that we can find the best caregiver match possible. We will take the caregiver’s skill as well as their personality into account when making the match.
We offer a one hour introduction and training time for all new caregivers in a home with our client. We use this time to get to know one another and set out clear expectations of what is to be done in the home. In these situations we give the client control to determine how they want to live and let us know how we can make their lives better. We allow them to tell us how we can fit around their lives rather than forcing them into a mold or schedule of our own making. We do this so that our clients never have to feel as though they are losing their independence and freedom to make their own choices.
If we’ve made a good caregiver match then our clients adjust easily to having someone new in their home and it isn’t long before a bond is formed.
If a client is still unsure about having someone in their home we give them some space and time to adjust. We will still be there to help them and we will make sure that the Care Plan is followed, but in doing so we will respect their need for some space. Eventually we hope that our respect for them combined with our genuine care will help them to warm up and begin to feel comfortable with us. We will start slow, with a few short visits and work up the amount of hours. We are also happy to have family members present for the first few visits to ease any worries.
Our goal is not to simply be a caregiver, but to form a genuine relationship of trust, respect, and heartfelt care. We know that everyone has different expectations and that everyone is comfortable with a varied levels of change in their lives. We’ve learned that starting slow is the best way to start for some people. Of course there are others that are ready for us to jump right in, but we’d rather start too slow than too fast.
Midnight Sun Home Care has the Alaska senior care team that can find a trusted senior caregiver to meet the unique needs of your family. Give us a call at (907) 677-7890 to schedule an in-home assessment to learn more about our Alaska senior care team. See our full service area.