I have worked with older adults for many years in many capacities ranging from a receptionist in a senior living community to an activities aide in a nursing home.
Two years ago I finished training to be a professional caregiver for a home care agency. It really is the perfect fit for me! Being a caregiver gives me an opportunity to get to know my clients in a way that other types of senior care do not.
Because my work with clients extends for long periods of time, their care plans often change. Sometimes I am not surprised when a care plan is modified, while other times I am caught off guard.
I know how important it is that I adapt to these changes and deliver the care each client needs. Do you have any suggestions for me on what to consider and how to react to changes in a client’s care plan?
How to Manage When the Caregiver Care Plan Changes
We have heard from many caregivers who feel the same way you do. Providing care to an older adult in their own home creates a very special bond between the caregiver and the senior. It makes for very meaningful work days.
Because seniors often work with a home care agency for several years, caregivers often get to know the client and their family quite well. They also witness the changes in their client’s health that result in changes to their care plan. As a caregiver, understanding those changes is important.
Here are a few pointers to keep in mind:
- Do you understand what the changes are and what prompted them?
- Are the changes short-term while the senior recovers from an illness, injury, or planned surgery, or is this a permanent change?
- When will the changes in care begin?
- What difference will this make in what you do on your visits with the client?
- Do you need to rearrange your schedule and shift client visit times around?
- Are other team members’ roles and responsibilities for the client changing? If they are, is everyone on the same page with regard to the client’s needs and preferences?
- Do the senior and their family members understand these changes and what they mean?
- Does the family need additional information and resources?
- Will you need additional supplies or equipment to accommodate the changes? If so, are you comfortable with these new tools?
- How will you work these changes in to your schedule?
- Changes to a care plan are often required because the client’s health is declining. Are you taking steps to manage your own emotions about a client you have gotten attached to?
Thanks for taking time to ask me such an important question, Janice. I hope this list helps provide you with the answers you are seeking.