At-home health professionals can provide wonderful support for you, or your aging loved one. To make sure that care is as effective as possible you need to have open lines of communication. And while we know communication can be a challenge at times, there are a few easy steps that when followed will help you have a closer and more productive relationship. We’ve outlined the best tips on how to communicate more effectively below.
Top Tips on Communicating with At-Home Health Professionals
These tips will help ensure that your or your aging loved one gets the best care possible from everyone involved.
Establish Your Needs Upfront
Are there any special needs or treatment required? Has there been a surgery recently? Were there any specific instructions from the doctor? These are some initial questions for you to think about upfront and communicate clearly to your health professional. You may want to write your instructions down and have several copies on hand, so if there’s ever a change in health professionals, the information is still immediately available for any replacement. Make sure to have clear instructions regarding all medications as well.
Ask and Repeat Questions
Ask questions and ask them often. If there are ever any questions that go unanswered, don’t assume that the professional understood or even heard your question. Ask again! You may also need to try to think of a different way to phrase the same question. And should you receive an answer that is confusing, be sure to ask for clarification. The more questions you ask, the better off you will be!
Give Them Time to Answer Questions
Now that you are asking lots of questions, you need to give the health professional time to answer! Depending on the question or complexity of the issue involved and answer may require some research or confirming with your physician. If you don’t receive an answer right away, be sure to ask when you can expect them to follow up with you to help better manage your expectations.
Be Open and Honest About the Uncomfortable Topics
If you remember anything – it is that you should not exclude any information from your health professional that relates to your pain, feelings, comfort or anything that could impact your health. This information is important to your overall care or that of your loved one and could be extremely helpful in an emergency situation. Don’t hold back!
Conduct Weekly Summary Meetings
Healthcare is an ongoing activity. To make sure everyone knows the status of any issues and the progress being made, you should have weekly meetings (on the day of your choosing) to: review how the week went, changes that occurred, issues that came up, health status updates and other critical information. This check-in is the best way that you and your home health professional can improve the relationship and experience.
Remember, effective communication can have a huge impact on the quality of care you or your aging loved one receives. Open up those lines of communication and keep the conversation flowing!