First Day of Home-Care Expectations

When your loved one is no longer able to care for him or herself, in-home care is often the best choice. This option allows your loved one to retain as much freedom as possible while still receiving the care and assistance he or she needs to stay safe and healthy.

Once you have made the decision to begin in-home care, you may wonder what the transition period will be like. Below is some information to help you prepare your loved one and your home for the first day of care.

How to Get Ready

Change is never easy, but it is sometimes necessary. To make the transition to in-home care as painless as possible for everyone involved, follow these tips.

1. Talk to your loved one openly and honestly.

Take to some time to talk to your loved one about the upcoming transition. Allow your loved one the chance to express his or her feelings and concerns. Address each of these issues with compassion.

2. Prepare the home.

To make things easier for the care provider, have the home as neat and clean as possible before he or she arrives. Consider making a list or diagram the care provider can use to find common items that will be needed during the day, such as medications. Try to keep these items in the same place all the time so that they are always easily accessible to the caregiver.

3. Reassure your loved one.

Let your loved one know that, even though you will no longer be the primary caregiver at all times, you are still going to be involved in his or her care. Make sure your loved one knows that you will still be spending time together and that you are always here if he or she needs you.

What to Expect

On the first day of in-home care, you should expect:

  • Your loved one to feel anxious. – The first day of in-home care may cause some anxiety for both you and your loved one. These feelings are normal, and they will subside over time.
  • Your caregiver to be prepared for the transition. – Your caregiver already knows that you and your loved one are going to be nervous at first. The caregiver will be patient and compassionate throughout this process.
  • Your caregiver to begin by getting to know your loved one. – On the first day, your caregiver will spend a significant amount of time getting to know your loved one.
  • To be present. – Being home on the first day of care not only reduces your loved one’s anxiety, but it can also help facilitate a smooth transition. If you are present on this first day, for example, you will be able to show the caregiver around your home and help him or her learn your loved one’s routine.
  • To spend some extra time with the caregiver at the end of the day. – At the end of the first day of care, you should be prepared to sit down with the caregiver and discuss the events of the day. During this time, you may discuss issues that were particularly challenging, as well as strategies that can be used to address these challenges. If the day was more difficult for your loved one than expected, you may also talk about making changes to the care plan. For example, you may decide to stay home for the next few sessions and gradually decrease your participation.
  • To receive many questions from your new caregiver.  Your new caregiver is getting to know you and your house as much as your loved one.  Be prepared for many questions on how you like things done.  Questions are a good thing and show that your caregiver is thoughtful about doing things the right way.