Knowing what your clients want, and delivering services that address these wants and needs, is integral to running a successful homecare business. While proprietors in other sectors may only have to deliver a product that meets non-critical “wants” of their clients, like good service in a restaurant or superb surround sound in a new stereo system, homecare providers are addressing an even more serious needs related to quality of life itself.
Home care agencies are involved with their senior clients and their families as many as 24 hours per day and for many years – the services we provide are truly pervasive in their lives! With a relationship that is so pervasive, it is natural that the stresses and worries of clients’ families that we encounter are similarly personal and intense, and so managing these concerns is paramount, and doing it superbly well is a way to differentiate and “do well by doing good.”
Common Family Caregiver Concerns
When families agree that it is time to hire the help of an in-home elder care agency, it’s important to understand that there are a myriad of concerns racing through their heads. ClearCare recently conducted a survey of 100 people who pay for elder care and found that some of the most common concerns included:
- Nutrition: Is the elderly individual being fed? When and how much are they eating? 25% of survey respondents noted this as major concern.
- Quality of Care: 51% of surveyed caregivers noted concerns regarding whether or not caregivers are showing up on time and doing what is included in the care plan, or wondering is the elderly person is receiving stimulating social interaction and being treated with respect.
- Hygiene: Is the elderly person being bathed appropriately? Are they wearing clean clothes each day and keeping clean? Approximately 10% of respondents expressed worries about the hygiene of their elderly loved one.
How to Manage Family Member Concerns:
Let’s face it: as a homecare agency manager, you spend your days ensuring the business runs smoothly. Between marketing, client relations, caregiver supervision, accounting and more, the time simply doesn’t exist to be in continuous contact with family members regarding the care of their loved one. Yet, you want to make sure that family members feel informed and comfortable with your services.
How do you manage to do both? The ClearCare homecare system makes continuous contact with client families a realistic service to offer - without eating up all of your time. With ClearCare, your caregivers check in via an assigned telephony number or via a tablet or smartphone. These updates then become immediately available to you, and at your discretion, to family members via a secure log-in site. With these updates, you’ll be able to recognize when there are issues that warrant a phone call or meeting with family members to deal with real issues, while families will feel comforted knowing what is happening in the home each day.
Besides homecare software like ClearCare online, you can help family members feel comfortable by:
1. Introducing them to your caregivers
2. Making yourself available when issues warrant a meeting to ensure that your clients are receiving the best possible care
3. Keeping in touch via social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook, or e-mail newsletters, to let spotlight new caregivers and let them know about happenings within the agency.
4. Maintaining an ongoing training program for caregivers to ensure that your employees are empowered with the knowledge to provide stellar care.
As a homecare provider, you’re caring for someone’s mom, dad, grandparent or spouse. By providing the same information to families that you would want in their position, you’ll be on the path to providing stellar service and being recognized as the leading agency in your regions.