The Importance of Effective Communication with Long-Term Care Staff

When your loved one’s care needs go beyond what you can provide at home, long-term care is often the best solution. However, it can be difficult to relinquish the responsibilities of being their primary caregiver when they make the move. After all, you know your loved one best. Will the caregivers at their community know that your mother only likes her bath at night? What if she won’t tell them when she likes to eat breakfast? These questions can be overwhelming at first, but it’s important to realize that the care team at your loved one’s community is prepared to be your partner for your loved one’s care and well-being. All you have to do is talk to them.

At The Manse on Marsh, a senior living community in San Luis Obispo County, California, long-term care staff are not only invaluable to your loved one, but to you as well. The staff in long-term care will become some of your greatest friends during a time of transition. A long-term care team can guide you and your loved one while providing all the care and assistance they need. Depending on your loved one’s health and personality, it can sometimes take a while for relationships to form with their caregivers. That’s where you come in. Communicating effectively is essential to ensuring a smooth transition into long-term care, and you are in the best position to facilitate your loved one’s move.

Why Communication with Care Staff Matters

Talking encourages relationships. When your loved one first moves to a community, they won’t know anyone. Some of the first people that they meet are the caregivers. They will be the ones who talk to your loved one and encourage them to go out and meet other residents. Overtime, these relationships build into close friendships.

If your loved one doesn’t communicate with the staff, their needs may not be fully met, and they can become socially isolated and depressed. Poor communication can essentially cause unhappiness and anxiety. It can also cause you to become dissatisfied with the facility and the care your loved one receives. Be sure to communicate with your loved one’s care team regularly about your loved one’s physical care and social health.

Communication paves the way for a higher level of care. Open communication can help your loved one trust their caregiver more, as well as help the caregiver provide better care. When you and your loved one communicate their needs, the staff can deliver more personalized care. Not only that, but the more a caregiver knows about your loved one’s interests, the better they can encourage participation in activities they know your loved one would enjoy. As a result of this communication, your loved one can experience a smoother transition into community life.

A strong relationship with the staff can benefit you. The more you talk to the care team and ask questions, the better. Your loved one’s caregiver can give you a realistic view of your loved one’s situation and their accomplishments or setbacks. They will end up being one of your main sources of honest information, as your loved one may hide certain problems from you. You may also need the caregiver’s support and reassurance at times when your loved one is struggling.

While many agree that these are good reasons to communicate with care staff, some family members don’t know where to start. So much of long-term care may be unfamiliar, and you may have more questions than you can ask in one visit. But, as you get comfortable with your loved one’s caregivers, it will get easier to voice your questions and concerns.

4 Ways to Strengthen Communication with Long-Term Care Staff

  1. Talk about your loved one’s likes, dislikes and interests. By letting their caregiver know what they love and what they’re interested in, you can make it easier for them to care for your loved one. If your parent hates to be called Mr. or Mrs., make sure the caregiver knows that. Let the care staff know if your loved one is not a morning person, so they can plan accordingly. If the caregiver knows your loved one’s hobbies and interests, they will be able to start meaningful conversations and help your loved one feel known. This can help to make the transition easier.

  2. Talk about yourself. Introduce yourself and find some common ground with the staff. If you have fears and worries, open up to caregivers and feel free to ask questions. Write questions down as you think of them so you don’t forget during your next visit. Remember that the caregivers are there to help you as well as your loved one during this time. Let the staff know when and how you’d like to be contacted and that you still want to be a part of your loved one’s care.

  3. If there is a problem, act respectfully. If a problem ever occurs regarding your loved one’s care or comfort, gather all the information you can before reacting. If your loved one has memory issues and accuses their caregiver of stealing, take a step back. Talk to the caregiver calmly and see what they have to say. It’s possible your loved one just misplaced the item. By getting angry, blaming and name-calling, you might damage the relationship that took so long to build.
  4. Let them know you appreciate them. Being a caregiver can sometimes be a thankless job. Let your loved one’s caregivers know that you appreciate the time, effort and care they put into giving your loved one the best support possible. Write them a card or bake them something. Even simple gestures like this can make them feel appreciated.

Your Partner in Senior Care

The Manse on Marsh offers assisted living, respite care and palliative care for seniors who could use support for their health and aging needs. We recognize the important work that family caregivers have done before their loved ones move in, and we respect the relationships we build between residents and families.

If you would like to know more about communicating with your loved one’s caregiving staff, don’t hesitate to call The Manse on Marsh for expert guidance and support.

Simply Abundant Living – The Manse on Marsh

The Manse on Marsh is widely recognized as the finest senior living community in San Luis Obispo County, California. Offering independent living, assisted living, respite care and palliative care, Manse on Marsh provides residents with the perfect blend of independence, privacy and safety all within the comforts of home.

The Manse on Marsh is simply abundant living – no matter the lifestyle or service a resident may require. In addition to a vibrant lifestyle that empowers residents to thrive, residents of Manse on Marsh enjoy delicious daily dining, wellness-focused programming and a social calendar filled with endless activity and entertainment. The locally owned community offers a wide variety of cottage homes, along with studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartment options.

Located along the scenic Central California coast in beautiful San Luis Obispo, Manse on Marsh puts residents only steps away from fine dining, popular attractions, shopping and world-class medical care.

Learn more today by calling (805) 541-4222 or by visiting www.themanse.net.