Home represents our sanctuary and private space, so naturally it can cause some apprehension for both a senior and his or her family to welcome in a new caregiver. Hopefully, these tips on what typically occurs during a home visit/shift can help lessen some of that anxiety when you welcome a new Nightingale into your home!
Before the First Visit
Prior to your caregiver’s arrival, you should have received some information on that caregiver, including her name, credentials and general information regarding her personality. Your care plan will have been written by the RN case manager who is overseeing your senior loved one’s care, who will have established your caregiver preferences in advance and worked with our staffing coordinators to come up with the best caregiver match.
When Your Caregiver Arrives
Your caregiver should arrive to your loved one’s home a few minutes prior to her scheduled shift. Nightingale employees are asked not to park in the client’s driveway, and instead to park in the street. If you have a preference, be sure and share that with your caregiver and the office.
Your new caregiver should introduce herself and confirm the scheduled time of her visit or shift. She should be neat and clean, wearing appropriate clothing and shoes, and also be wearing a company-issued nametag. She should also bring along her home care bag with the equipment to take your loved one’s vital signs, gloves and paperwork for the scheduled shift. If your caregiver is working over a meal break, she will bring her own lunch, and may ask if she can put it in the refrigerator.
Your caregiver will wash her hands prior to beginning any care with your loved one. If you have a preference on which sink you would like her to use for this frequent task, please let her know.
What the Care Visit Will Entail
Although the caregiver should be well versed on your loved one’s care plan and know the details of all necessary care and requests, she will ask to see the care plan and other notes, and will take some time to review that. If she is relieving another caregiver, there will be some time spent on going over the details of your loved one’s care and becoming oriented to the home. It may be important for you to participate in this orientation to the surroundings. She should know the following information:
- Where your loved one’s medications are kept and if the senior will need assistance with those
- If meals should be prepared
- Where the towels, bathing supplies, laundry facilities and cleaning products are kept, etc.
The caregiver will begin by taking your loved one’s vital signs and may call the office to report any changes in his or her condition. She will then assist with any personal care needs the senior may have, and depending on her skill level, may either assist the senior in taking medications, or administer them. In the state of Arizona, nursing assistants may assist and remind only in taking medications, but cannot administer them. In addition to providing personal care, our nursing assistants are able to perform meal preparation and light housekeeping (laundry, vacuuming, dusting, damp mopping, tidying, and ironing).
Some clients are concerned about asking their caregiver for help with other household tasks, such as organizing drawers or packing up boxes. Our caregivers can help with just about anything aside from moving heavy furniture or landscaping! If there is a particular household task that you would like your caregiver to perform that is not on the care plan, simply call the office, or ask the caregiver, and she will call the office to get approval from the nurse case manager. We are happy to accommodate!
Your caregiver can also read to your loved one, help write letters, play card games, assist with an exercise regime and even accompany him or her to appointments or functions. Nightingale allows for our caregivers to transport seniors in either their own vehicle or the caregiver’s vehicle by use of a transportation release. Please let the office know if you would like this service.
Nightingale does not allow its employees to borrow anything or accept gifts from the client. We also ask that you do not share your phone number with your caregiver. We remind our clients that our caregivers are to maintain professional boundaries at all times. Borrowing items and visiting the client outside of working hours are considered boundary violations.
Each time the caregiver comes to your loved one’s home, she will have a flow sheet to complete. This flow sheet follows the care plan outlined by the nurse and will ensure that the care plan is being followed. Be sure and review the tasks the caregiver has documented and the hours recorded prior to signing the timecard. If you have any questions about this, please call the office.
Since typically our clients spend a good part of their day with their caregivers, it is important to know how your loved one is enjoying and getting along with his or her caregiver. Hopefully, the first shift with your loved one’s new caregiver flew by and he or she is looking forward to the next visit! If it is obviously not a good fit, however, by all means call the office at once. We will do our absolute best to find that ideal caregiver for your loved one!
At Nightingale Home Care, our top priority is to help keep older adults safe, independent, and thriving, right in the comfort of home, with the highest quality Arizona home health care services. If some extra help at home might help your senior loved one enhance quality of life, we invite you to contact us at (602)504-1555 to learn more!