From your perspective, what is the most important thing for providers to keep in mind about caregivers?
Family caregivers care about their loved one the most. They seek providers that are responsible, who they can trust with their loved one’s care, and who can keep them safe. The provider can always turn to the family caregiver if they have any questions about caring for their loved one.
What are three strengths you see in family caregivers?
- They are experts on their loved one’s healthcare and health status. They know specific details about their loved one’s past health history.
- The family caregiver is always responsive to their loved ones’
needs. The individual knows they have the security of their family’s love and support at all times.
- The family caregiver always provides assistance with day to day tasks and personal care for their loved one. The family caregiver is their loved one’s best advocate.
Can you tell me about a time when you felt empowered by a provider or felt that providers really understood your perspective?
I had a situation where my son was receiving care from a provider in a residential setting with 24 hour care. They did not watch what he was eating and he gained an additional 40 pounds. I had huge concerns about his physical health and they were not listening to my request to watch his diet in order to prevent other health issues that could arise. Soon after, I had an opportunity to select a different residential provider. One of the interview questions was how they would handle healthy eating. They provided that information. I switched to the new provider and knew I made the right choice many years later because he has healthy meal plans and his weight has continued to be within the proper range. We have continuous communication and reporting on many levels. He is happy and leading a healthy life style.
How can providers best support family caregivers during the COVID-19 pandemic?
Communication with family caregivers is a key factor. Let the family know how they are keeping their loved one safe and healthy. Provide technical communication for the individual and their family caregivers through zoom, facetime and phone calls.