Senior Care and Communication with Caregivers

| Tuesday, December 27, 2011
By Laura Bonson

If you have hired someone to provide senior home care for a family member but find it isn't meeting your expectations, you should consider if communication may be the issue. You may be finding that the reports of your provider and the statements of your loved one are sometimes in opposition to one another. There are many reasons that can cause communication issues.

The reduced ability to hear as aging occurs may be one contributing factor. Perhaps your loved one can still hear, but the words received aren't as clear as they once were. If both the stories of your provider and your loved one contain discrepancies, consider that these differences may be coming from a reduced capacity in hearing. You can have your loved one tested and if this proves to be the case, there are hearing aids that can assist with this problem.

Is your loved one taking any medications that may affect their memory, or cause some confusion? It can be frightening to hear that your loved one says their care provider didn't feed them lunch. However, if your care provider can demonstrate that your loved one wasn't denied a meal, consider that the medication may have caused some confusion for your loved one.

Conditions that affect the brain can also cause communication problems between your loved one and their caregiver. Alzheimer and Parkinson diseases are a few examples of conditions that may require specialized care. If you care provider isn't well trained in these areas, it can lead to communication issues.

If you haven't alleviated your concerns with the above considerations, make sure you contact the care provider on a daily basis. You might also want to consider visiting the home unannounced to see how things in the home are being handled. This will also give you some time to observer how your caregiver and loved one interact with one another.

You can also help with communication issues by using written communication. If your loved one suffers from a condition that limits speech, develop some hand signals that will allow your loved one to communicate their needs to their care provider. If you don't suspect there are abuse issues, bring in the help of a communication specialist that will provide you with other techniques you can employ.

As in our own daily lives, we experience communication problems with our spouses or co-workers, a certain amount of communication issues should be expected. However, it is always wise to be diligent when it comes to the concerns of your loved one. The communication issues might be as simple as a lack of compatibility between the care provider and your loved one.

When it comes to the senior home care services that are provided for your loved one, you naturally want to ensure they are receiving the best available care. If all of these considerations do not eliminate the communication problems, it may be time to consider making a permanent change in care.

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