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How to Effectively Communicate with Your New Home Health Care Assistant

 Let’s Talk!  Today’s home health care services are constantly evolving according to patient needs. What once was a type of skilled nursing care reserved mainly for the elderly,  has grown and become more diverse.

As of January 1st, 2011, over 10,ooo Baby Boomers per day reach the age of 65- and number approx. 77.6 million people in the US.

Home health nurses, nursing aides and skilled care providers are now assisting Boomer patients with everyday needs that range from recovery and rehabilitation to light housework and even help around the home after childbirth. Caring, yet non-medical private care is becoming more readily available for our aging society in the form of companion sitters or to even accompany loved ones to medical appointments.

Having a trusted, encouraging companion can lead to faster recovery times and reduce the amount of complications and injuries that patient’s are vulnerable to during recovery. However, many find it difficult to communicate effectively with their home health care provider.

Proper communication is a key element to an individual’s ability to recover quickly.

With that said, you may be wondering what the basics of proper communication with your home health care assistant are. Keep reading. It’s pretty simple and truly a two way street!

Help at Home Homecare: Verbalizing Your Expectations

Although the help you will receive from private duty care is essentially a service, there is a kindered, family type of relationship involved. The patient/nursing assistant relationship, like any other relationship, should be built on clear communication.

Before hiring home healthcare services, be sure your expectations are known. Don’t assume anything is too trivial. Your case manager and assistant are ready and willing to help you recover. Asking questions, going over details, voicing concerns…it’s all part of the process.

  • Repeat Questions- Have you asked your nurse the same question twice already and still don’t understand the answer? Don’t give up!  If you simply ‘let it go,’ you will never receive the answer you need. Ask the question again and ask the nurse to explain her answer in a different way so you can understand it better. There’s no shame in telling your nurse, “I don’t understand what you mean by that.”
  • Establish Special Needs- Did your surgery possibly reduce your ability to communicate verbally or think clearly? Are the pain medications knocking you out for hours at a time? Before your private duty care assistant arrives, make sure he or she is aware of any special needs you have. You may need a translator, or you may need to communicate with pen and paper. If the pain medication is making you sleep through the home health care visit, consider writing down any questions, instructions, or thoughts you may have while you are awake. Your nurse can then leave you a note with her response.
  • Family and Friends- Sometimes it is impossible to communicate effectively with your home health care aide without a family member or friend present. Why? Well, if you are on heavy medication, you may not fully remember the nurse’s response or whether you even asked the question at all. A friend or family member can take notes and make sure your question is asked even if you are sleeping when the home health care provider arrives. This will offer you peace of mind as you recover.
  • Be Honest- It is extremely important to be honest with your private duty care nurse, even if the topic is sensitive. Don’t leave anything out just because it might make you blush! You’ll find that proper communication will reduce frustration, stress, and irritability, and will actually help you recover more quickly.

Your home health care assistant is there to help, whether it involves changing your sheets or helping you with bathroom duties, all of these simple tasks offer you comfort and that is what Help at Home Homecare is about, and what we do best!

Have you had any experiences with effectively communicating with your health care provider? We’d love to hear from you-


Check out our FAQ page for Answers to our most commonly asked Questions!

Help at Home Homecare- Delivering Exceptional Private Home Care to You and Your Loved One’s in the Comfort of Home!


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Sarasota/Charlotte Co. Lic. #299993609

Manatee County License #299993726
Lee/Collier County License #299994308