Building Trust with Your Home Care Agency
Trust is an important part of any relationship, and it’s particularly important in the relationship between you and your home care agency.
When trust is present, a caregiver can work with the care recipient and his or her family to ensure quality care and quality of life. But without trust, that collaborative side to caregiving becomes difficult to maintain.
That begs the question of how to build trust with your home care agency.
Ultimately, it’s incumbent on the home care agency to put in the work and establish that level of trust. But this can only happen if you choose an agency that makes trust a priority. And while your home care agency should take the lead, you’ll need to remember that trust is a two-way street, requiring buy-in from both parties.
The Importance of Trust in Home Care
It’s difficult to overstate how vital trust can be to the relationship between a home care agency and its clients. Given the highly personal nature of home care, caregiving can be deeply uncomfortable if trust is not present. That’s particularly true when care involves activities of daily living, such as dressing, bathing, or hygiene.
At the same time, a lack of trust makes it difficult to communicate. Poor communication makes it harder for caregivers to know when a client is comfortable, when they’re uncomfortable, and what kind of care they require. It can also leave the client feeling unsure about the care they’re receiving leading them to feel as if they’re not in control of the situation.
Trust is equally important between a care recipient’s family and their home care agency. Often, family members are the ones who schedule care and oversee their loved one’s well-being. In these scenarios, it’s crucial that a working relationship exists between the family and the agency.
Once again, that relationship needs to be founded on trust. And once again, it needs to include back-and-forth communication.
Developing Trust with Your Home Care Agency
Trust isn’t something that happens of its own accord. Consciously or not, it requires a great deal of effort and good faith from both sides.
So how do you find a home care agency that’s willing to put in this work? And what can you do to facilitate the trust-building process?
In terms of finding the right agency, we suggest a couple of things.
First, do your research before choosing an agency. Try to focus on agencies with a clear, stated commitment to their clients’ well-being and to open and effective communication. Also, try to target agencies with strong client relationships by asking around for referrals and checking out online reviews.
During the consultation phase, pay close attention to the ways different agencies discuss their clients, the degree to which they emphasize communication, and the level of control they give you in terms of care planning.
Second, use the consultation phase as a chance to start a dialogue and begin building a relationship. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, express concerns, or see if specific requests can be accommodated. This way, you’re being open and forthcoming from the outset, so that the home care agency knows precisely what you’re looking for (or what you’re not). This will help to set the tone for open dialogue moving forward. At the same time, the agency’s answers will tell you a lot about how they respond to their clients’ needs. If their answers don’t seem entirely transparent or honest, that’s a red flag.
At Visiting Angels®, we understand the importance of a trusting relationship between you and your home care agency.