Nurturing relationships between a care recipient and their caregivers — no matter if they’re family or a professional home aide — has positive effects and can even help an individual age in place longer.
While having a healthy relationship benefits the person receiving care, the caregiver also gains something significant: it’s a lot more fulfilling to work with someone with whom you share a mutual respect.
Here are three steps we can take to build more meaningful and engaging relationships with our loved ones.
1. Listen, Communicate, Engage
When communicating with a loved one, turn your body toward the person speaking and make eye contact. Try not to interrupt the conversation and ask plenty of good questions to ensure that your loved one feels heard and respected.
2. Seek support
To build trust, the care recipient needs to be able to ask for help when it is required and, to provide quality care, the caregiver needs to be able to ask the care recipient for help in understanding something new or clarifying a preference or concern.
We often pile on all the responsibilities of caring for a loved one on our shoulders and don’t realise that we need a break too. Caring may take a toll on our health and wellbeing, and this can affect our relationship with the individual we care for. Take a break when you need it. It is important to know that help and support are available when you need respite.
3. Have fun together
Through communication and nurturing of the relationship between you and your loved one, you will grow to understand f your loved one’s preferences with time. Try and engage in activities based on your loved one’s interest and not just based on what is convenient.
When active listening, empathy, respect and patience are practised, both caregiver and care recipient can find themselves in a deep, caring and safe relationship.
In a home care setting, these types of relationships are integral in creating healing and comfort.