Analyzing the Relationship Between the Patient, the Family, and the Home Health Caregiver

Medication Management

Medication Management

“Will you send the same aide all the time?” is one of the most frequent requests made to home health care managers.

Patients and families place great priority on consistency, reliability, and familiarity of caregivers. In fact, if the total amount of care required by the patient can be adequately provided by just one caregiver, then that arrangement satisfies most everyone.

When a new caregiver arrives at the patient’s home, an evaluation process begins on both sides. The patient, and his or her family, form opinions about the suitability of the caregiver. The home health aide or the nurse also evaluates his or her willingness to continue on the particular job. A successful outcome depends on all parties being satisfied with one another. Usually after a few days of being together, the patient, the family, and the caregiver solidify their opinions about one another.

If a patient has multiple family members who are actively involved in the patient’s care, then the likelihood of reaching a unanimous decision about the suitability of any caregiver is greatly diminished. The relationship between the patient and the caregiver “is just the tip of the iceberg.” The spouse and the adult children may interact differently with the caregiver. If these problems exist, then two priorities should be established:

l} What is best for the patient?

2) Pick one family member to he in charge.

Otherwise, family members might make decisions based on their own interests, or worse, try to gain control within the family by manipulating the caregiver or the patient.

By: Kim Champion