A routine meeting is an acceptable time to acknowledge one another’s efforts, air grievances, and develop plans. Schedule a regular meeting perhaps every two weeks, to discuss the working arrangement as well as the physical and emotional condition of the person receiving care. This will provide an opportunity for calm and effective communication.
Lead the meeting in a positive and constructive manner. Instruction is better than complaint. Rather than saying, “You don’t know how to cook,” say, “My mother usually prefers her meat cooked longer.” Instead of “You never clean the bathroom right,” explain, “Dirty towels should be placed in the laundry after the bath.”
Above All, Listen!
The home care worker is your “eyes and ears” in the home and can give you valuable information about the person receiving care. Working in the home is not an easy job. There are many frustrations in caring for another person and very few people with whom to share them. As a result, home care workers may burn out quickly. You may not be able to take all the frustration away, but you can listen. This may help your worker cope better and keep him or her in your employ longer.
SOME SIGNS OF A PROBLEM
The day’s assigned work is not done
The worker neglected to give you a receipt with the money
The older person complains
The worker comes late and/or leaves early on more than one occasion
You do not feel you are getting the information you need
It is helpful to discuss concerns and problems when they first occur. Be careful to describe the problem behavior, be clear on the change required, set a time limit, and follow through with the consequences you discuss.
The following sections may assist you in finding help for your loved ones: