Maintaining Boundaries: How to Ensure a Healthy Relationship Between Seniors and Caregivers

CaregiversAt Nightingale Homecare, our caregivers are taught many things about maintaining client and caregiver safety. Probably the most difficult lesson they learn is how to create healthy boundaries. This subject is a challenging one, for every caregiver can recall a patient that he or she may have become too close to and the lines of caregiver/client relationship became blurred.

While we certainly strive to get to know our clients and establish friendly, trusting bonds, the relationship between caregiver and client is a therapeutic one that should focus solely on the needs of the client, and not on forming social contacts that cross certain lines. Here are some examples of potential boundary violations during appropriate caregiving situations that our caregivers are trained to avoid:

Befriending vs. Friendship: Nightingale caregivers are careful to never overstep professional boundaries and confuse befriending with friendship. Befriending is good in a professional relationship. It is intended to build trust and assist in understanding and meeting the client’s needs. Friendship signifies a relationship that focuses on the needs of both people, rather than a single-minded focus on meeting the needs of our clients.

Counseling: Our caregivers understand the difference between being a counselor and using counseling skills. Using counseling skills, such as active listening, is good. Counseling exceeds the scope of practice for Nightingale’s home health care staff, and if a client is in need of counseling services, we can help in finding an appropriate provider.

Influence: Great care and respect are taken by our care team to refrain from attempting to influence clients with personal beliefs and values. Although naturally our clients may wish to express their views on morality, religion and politics, our caregivers are taught to refrain from promoting or imposing their own views on these topics.

Privacy: The privacy of our clients is of utmost priority to our Nightingale care team. Our caregivers respect each client’s privacy in all areas of care, including during bath time or dressing, avoiding areas of the home the client would prefer to keep private, etc.

Inappropriate Personal Disclosures: Nightingale caregivers know the importance of refraining from divulging personal information about themselves or other staff members. We never want our clients to feel burdened by the personal situations and challenges faced by their caregivers, but instead to experience professional care that is client-focused, rather than a “give and take” relationship.

With Nightingale Homecare, clients and their families can have peace of mind in knowing that all of our care staff are educated on appropriate boundaries. Our goal is for our staff to build healthy, successful caregiving relationships with all of our clients, and we work hard to ensure we’re delivering the highest possible quality of care.

We’d love to help your senior loved ones discover for themselves the benefit of improved quality of life and wellbeing through partnering with our professional caregiving team, always delivered with respect and with the senior’s best interest at the forefront of all we do. Contact us at (602) 504-1555 with any questions or to arrange for a free in-home assessment to learn more!