You and your home care business provide important services. When your clients need their medication, you are there; when they need help cleaning their home, you put on your yellow gloves; when they need help with personal grooming and care, you extend a helping hand. So what more can you do to ensure you are providing top-notch care?
Move up to the next level of personal care and ensure you are not only addressing your clients physical needs but their cultural, religious and spiritual needs as well.
HealthAidTraining.org states, “You may also find that working with different elderly home health care patients means dealing with vastly different cultures and religions… It is important to respect these cultural and religious boundaries and to understand them well enough that you don’t cross any lines while working with your clients…You’ll find that you will gain their acceptance and trust and you will have
[an easier time]with them.”
Your clients have grown up observing different cultural and religious practices. For example, it is custom in many families of Asian descent to remove their shoes before entering the house. Or many Christian faiths believe in doing no work on the Sabbath, so refraining from major house cleaning on that day will help them feel they are still observing their religious practices. As much as possible, observe these same practices while in their home. It is important to have a conversation with the client and ask them about their cultural or religious beliefs. Remember this is still their home, and caregivers should respect the life they desire to live.
Another way to show respect for a client’s religious beliefs is by helping them attend or participate in religious events and services. If they want (and are able) to attend religious services, encourage them as much as possible. Some home care companies are able to offer transportation to clients for such events. Whether or not you provide transportation, you can help secure a ride through family, friends, or public transportation.
Another great thing your caregivers can do for your clients is celebrate religious holidays and observances with them. Your clients may not have family nearby who come to celebrate or worship with them. It is never a bad thing to learn about another’s cultural or religious beliefs. For example, with a client of Jewish decent, it could mean the world to them to have you take a moment to sit down and light the menorah with them during Hanukkah. Ask questions and let them see your interest in their beliefs. Joining in and celebrating general holidays like Thanksgiving could make the difference between your clients tolerating you and loving to have you in their home.
So take the time necessary to have your caregivers actually get to know your clients, and if possible, you might try to match caregivers and clients of the same religious persuasions together. As you provide the physical care needed and the personal care they desire, your company’s reputation will grow as one of the best, and your clients will be loyal promoters.