Family caregiving can present enormous challenges for individuals caring for elderly relatives. RightConversations™ is Right at Home’s foremost guide for families offering realistic tips and ideas for effective communication about family caregiving. Being a family caregiver is honourable and one of the most meaningful periods in your life. Effective communication can greatly enhance this experience.
This is particularly important as your loved one’s condition may be in flux. We suggest making a note of what you see. Listen to your gut – it could be telling you something is not quite right with your loved one or their condition is changing. Document information. You can use our RightConversations Information Journal to help you keep all relevant information about your loved one in one place.
Observation is important in determining whether your loved one needs additional support. Use your observation skills to help validate your concerns.
Once you’ve gathered information about the situation and determined that your loved one needs assistance, the next step is to sort through the facts and your observations. Remember that assumptions about your loved one’s well-being can make things worse. As you study the facts try to limit the influence of your own personal biases – what may matter to you may not be what is most important to your loved one.
Make sure you involve the right people from the beginning, even if that means extending an invitation to a sibling with whom you have challenges.
Organising yourself for a productive conversation is vital. Consider writing out a list of questions and concerns before speaking to your loved one.
Listen with the intent to understand rather than respond. When you listen you have the opportunity to fully appreciate your loved one’s perspective. Be sure to express love and concern and articulate your feelings with sensitivity.
Refer to page four of our RightConversations™ Guide for a comprehensive table on understanding communication styles.
Understand that your loved one may not be forthcoming with the status of their physical or mental health. It is important to understand why they may be withholding health information. Perhaps they fear for their independence or don’t want to worry relatives.
Never approach your loved one suddenly. An ambush can often lead to misunderstandings. Where possible, include your loved one in planning the discussion and act inclusively.
Just because you have planned and prepared for the conversation does not mean your loved one is equally prepared to talk. Try to maintain focus on what you want to achieve and remain open minded.
Right at Home is an approved provider of Home Care Packages and can assist your elderly loved ones, Australia's seniors, with services that support them in activities of daily living. Right at Home also assist seniors with support that is under private pay arrangements for those seniors who do not have government funding under the Home Care Packages scheme.
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Founded in 1995, Right at Home offers in-home companionship and personal care, and assistance to seniors (elderly and aged care), and any adult who needs our care at home including adults living with a disability who want to continue to live independently or age in their home. Right at Home is your local expert for issues related to caring for your loved ones and is dedicated to keeping you informed about home care. With no package management fees, Right at Home allows you to get more care from your package or budget.
Right at Home is a 'My Aged Care' government approved, home care provider for levels 1 – 4 and offers flexible in-home care services such as nursing care, after hospital care, post-operative care, respite care, dementia and Alzheimer's care. Right at Home also offers assistance with daily living and personal care such as grooming, hygiene, transport, shopping, meal prep, domestic services and social support, so your loved one can enjoy a more independent, vibrant life. Our nurses and caregivers are screened, highly trained, and insured prior to entering your home so you can trust us with the caregiving while you focus on your loved one.
To find out more, please give us a call on 1300 363 802 or visit our website.
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