Insights from Stephanie Berman, MSN, RN, CALM

Senior Caregiver Questions: Six Tough Ones to Ask

Finding the Best Care Option Requires Getting the Details

While your loved one’s care needs may evolve, there are some questions that should remain unchanged. Seniors have a right to know that the care option they choose is the one that will best meet their needs. After all, the purpose of a client’s care option is to make it simpler for them to live their life to the fullest, not to take a significant step backward.

Ask These Six Difficult Questions With Confidence

In order to determine which option is right for your loved one, ETE recommends asking tough questions. You are encouraged to be bold and learn everything you can. Upon learning this information, you will be in a much better position to make the right decision for yourself and your loved one.

Senior Caregiver Question #1

What Is Your Turnover Rate?

You’re looking for care that is consistent, which is why the turnover rate is so crucial. The community’s clinical team provides the care and deeply understands client needs. The leadership team will not be able to know or grasp the level of care being delivered if turnover is significant.

It’s a good idea to look around and pay attention to how the leadership team communicates with their care teams when you’re on site. Is the leadership well-versed in the people who provide care, meals, and maintenance? Do they know who their people are or what drives them to come to work every day? If a community cares for its people, the leadership team will empower them to provide a greater level of care, such as knowing what music, meals, and hobbies clients enjoy.

Senior Caregiver Question #2

How Long Has Your Management Team Been in Place?

With this question, you will likely learn something about why turnover occurs at any level. Leaders play a crucial role in shaping company culture and push opportunities for continuous training to improve team skills.

The best leaders empower their organizations to create and maintain an environment that promotes employee engagement and retention. Furthermore, if effective leadership is in place, the turnover rate may be significantly reduced.

Senior Caregiver Question #3

How Do You Communicate With Families?

This question has a three-pronged approach. Every strong connection is built on the foundation of communication. You’ll want to make sure two-way communication is at its peak. You must be aware of the methods used to properly communicate care goals and issues, as well as who you’ll be speaking with about it.

  1. What methods do you use to communicate with families?
  2. Do I have to contact the leadership team regularly, or do you empower your team to help me?
  3. Will a member of the leadership team provide me with a cellphone number? Note: this number is solely for genuine emergencies outside of usual office hours.

Senior Caregiver Question #4

What Resources Do You Have to Help Me if I Have an Issue?

If the chosen care option is no longer suitable, you must be able to contact someone to discuss various alternatives. Additionally, you must know who to talk to if something is happening in the care setting that is bothering you.

When it comes to personal resources, it’s a good idea to ask if the team has knowledge of government programs on the federal, state, or local levels. These services can assist you in meeting your financial responsibilities, locating and affording care for a loved one, and even obtaining respite care for yourself.

Senior Caregiver Question #5

How Will You Maintain My Loved One’s Dignity and Self-Respect?

Growing older never means losing your identity and self-respect. Our seniors are vital to our families, communities, and society, and we should never disregard them. What was important to individuals in their youth is still very relevant for them today. Ask the care team to provide real examples of how they’ve preserved dignity and self-respect for their clients.

Throughout the care process, you’ll want to make sure that your loved one is:

  • Listened to, asked for their opinion, and part of the decision-making process
  • Included in conversations and not discussed as if they aren’t there
  • Respectfully spoken with and treated as an adult
  • Encouraged to maintain as much independence as safely possible
  • Cared for in a respectful environment with personal and physical privacy
  • Motivated to remain active

Senior Caregiver Question #6

What Clinical Licenses Does Your Team Have?

It’s critical to figure out how much assistance a loved one requires. A person living alone who only needs help with activities of daily living will not require the same level of care as a loved one affected by dementia. Varying degrees of care and types of care activities will require different licenses and training. Ultimately, are those providing the care equipped to do so?

The Bottom Line

Everyone genuinely wants to do the right thing for those in their care. After all, caregivers impact people’s lives every single day. A confident and knowledgeable care team creates an excellent experience for clients and their families. 

Above all, our loved ones deserve and require a suitable care option, which includes the opportunity to socialize and make friends, maintain an active lifestyle—and promotes independence and choice.

Immerse Yourself in Information

Learn more about care options, private insurance, Medicare, and more by reading our last blog post.

To reach Stephanie Berman, MSN, RN, CALM at Engagement Through Education with questions or non-biased recommendations on care choices, call 512-923-1045 or email info@engagementthrougheducation.com.

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