How Caregivers Can Build Trust with Their Elderly Client

Home Caregiver Comforting Senior Woman Patient Sitting in Her Bedroom. Nurse Putting Her Hand Over Elderly Patient Shoulder

Providing care to a client, while naturally a quintessential aspect, is only part of the job of being a caregiver. Building a rapport with the person your care for is essential to both of your experiences. The more comfortable with you your client is, the more efficiently you will be able to do your job. As you begin to pursue a caregiving career, learning how caregivers can build trust with their elderly client is one of the most important steps you can take.

How Caregivers Can Build Trust with Their Elderly Client

Treat them with respect

This tip may seem like a no-brainer, but treating someone with respect extends past using “please” and “thank you.” Treating your client with respect also involves being patient with them, speaking tactfully, and actively listening to their concerns. You should also take into consideration their personal preferences—for instance, if your client prefers to be called “sir” or “ma’am,” abide by that. Alternatively, if they’d rather you call them by their first name, do that.

It is also essential that you remember to treat your client like an adult. Though they may need help now, they were once independent adults who held careers and potentially raised a family. Do not infantilize them as you attend to their needs. Instead, make an effort to always regard them as equal, whether you are assisting with their activities of daily living or simply having a conversation.

Make an effort to get to know them

At first, you may be tempted to keep your conversations with your client strictly business related. Taking some time to learn about your client, however, is the first step in building trust. You won’t learn all this information at once, but at the beginning of their service, ask about their career, family, and any interests they have. You may learn you have something in common that allows the two of you to bond.

Make sure they feel heard

Everyone has a different style of communication, and as we age, it is especially important to be heard. However, physical or cognitive conditions can lead to some communication barriers between seniors and others. As their caregiver, it is important you recognize your client’s verbal and non-verbal cues alike so you know precisely what it is they need. In learning to recognize these cues, your client won’t have to worry about their needs going unnoticed.

Building a rapport with seniors

Follow through with your promises

Promises are simultaneously responsible for building trust and breaking it. When you make any promises to your elderly client, you must make every effort to follow through with it. If you say you’ll be at their home on a particular day, or that you’ll complete a task for them by a certain time, complete it within that time frame. This will not only show your client that you are reliable, but that you respect them, building a stronger caregiver-client relationship.

Don’t ever make a promise that you can’t keep or can’t ensure. This could mean promising to complete a service that you cannot provide, or perhaps promising that their grandchildren will call. Only make promises for things you can control.

Pursuing the fulfilling career of being a caregiver

Helping seniors age in the comfort of their homes is a meaningful role for many individuals. As an at-home caregiver, you ensure the health and happiness of your client, allowing you to go home with the satisfaction of knowing you’ve done something good. If this sounds ideal, start that journey with Home Care Powered by AUAF.

Whether caregiving is a new career exploration for you or you are a seasoned at-home caregiver, the staff with Home Care Powered by AUAF is here to support you. For 30 years, we have offered seniors in Chicagoland the care they need to age in place thanks to our compassionate, dedicated caregivers. We would be honored to add you to our team.

For more information on what you need to become a caregiver with us, give us a call at 773-274-9262. We are here to answer any questions you have.

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