In last week’s post “Know Thy Customer: The Concerns of Family Caregivers,” we began to examine the primary concerns of family caregivers that were revealed in a recent market research survey conducted by ClearCare. This week, we’ll continue to share insights provided by family caregivers who were honest in their expression of the primary concerns when it comes to elder care.
While quality of care and adherence to dietary guidelines ranked in the top two concerns cited by ClearCare survey respondents, concerns about abuse, appropriate social interaction and medication intake weren’t far behind.
1. Concerns About Abuse or Neglect:
22% of family caregivers surveyed by ClearCare revealed that they had serious concerns regarding potential abuse or neglect of senior loved ones by an outside caregiver. Individuals worried that their family members were being treated poorly, verbally abused or left unattended to in soiled adult diapers, or dirty clothes. While a few respondents noted that they had experienced issues in the past with a caregiver who neglected their duties, the vast majority of respondents noted that this concern was simply a worry derived from their absence in the home and the requirement to trust an essential stranger.
Clients who are worried about the potential for abuse or neglect of an elderly loved one may find comfort in feeling that your company is more than just a homecare agency. Instead, they want to feel that you are committed to providing the same level of service that you would to a member of your own family. To instill a sense of trust, take time to meet with the client family and their assigned caregivers prior to beginning work so that they have a chance to know who will be in the home. Additionally, utilize ClearCare homecare software to provide updates to family caregivers in real-time, at any time, with secure web log-ins.
2. Worries About Social Interaction:
Seniors living in isolated conditions are more likely to suffer from depression and memory issues than those who have access to mentally and physically stimulating activities. 17% of ClearCare survey respondents expressed a concern that an elderly loved one would not benefit from social interaction when professional caregivers were present.
Solution: Arming Caregivers with Activities
While your employees aren’t attending to tasks like hygiene and feeding, interaction can provide emotionally and mentally beneficial care. Talk to your clients and their families about what types of activities each client enjoys and make a point to add activities as tasks within ClearCare software care plans. Activities may include a stroll around the block, working on a puzzle together or simply looking at family photos and chatting over a cup of coffee. You can also take the extra step to keep client families apprised of upcoming events like street fairs, or senior exercise classes, that would make a fun outing for seniors and their loved ones!
3. Being Mindful of Medication:
Although the majority of private duty caregivers are not able to administer medications, providing elder care clients with medication reminders can be an important part of an in-home care plan. 19% of family caregivers surveyed by ClearCare expressed concern over whether or not their elderly loved ones were taking the right medications, at the right times; if at all.
Solution: ClearCare Visibility
Providing caregivers with a care plan via ClearCare that contains individually scheduled tasks, medication reminders won’t get lost in busy days. Each time a medication reminder is scheduled, caregivers can check off the task, or leave a note or voice message about any missed medications and the reason the client skipped a dose. This information is then accessible to family members, and approved medical providers, who can keep a close eye on medicinal intake. Caregivers can also receive updates about medications that should not be taken, or new additions via the care plan that can be accessed and updated by administrators at any time.
Knowing the primary concerns of family caregivers allows you, as a homecare agency owner, to tailor your services and procedures to provide peace of mind. By striving to be an agency that provides transparency and care with true concern, you’ll be winning business and keeping customers healthy and happy.