The most effective way to assist an elderly person is to maintain a professional demeanor. I
have witnessed caregivers relinquishing their professional power when they see themselves
as “one of the family” or the “best friend”. When this occurs, it often becomes difficult to assist
the elderly with activities of daily living such as bathing, changing, exercise, etc. as the elderly
client no longer sees the caregiver as one with authority.
The caregiver, home care agency and client and/or representative share a role in maintaining
professionalism. Below are some suggestions for each to consider to ensure the elderly
client receives the excellent care they deserve.
The agency administrator is responsible to educate caregivers of agency expectations
regarding professionalism during orientation and throughout their employment. Should the
administrator, nurse or office manager detect an unprofessional act or demeanor, each has a
responsibility to address the caregiver to assist them in regaining their professional
demeanor. Taking action early benefits the elderly client and prevents the caregiver from
getting stressed out. When a caregiver sees themselves as a professional, the elderly client
and others will too.
The agency administrator is responsible to bring awareness to the elderly client and/or client
representative of agency expectations of their caregivers during the initial service visit as well
as the responsibilities of the elderly client and/or client representative.
The agency’s expectations of professional care giving service include but not limited to:
caregivers are to provide their own food/drink, refrain from sharing their personal problems
with elderly client and/or client representative, show up for work on time clean and energetic,
follow the care plan designed by agency, report immediately to agency of any changes in
elderly client, refrain from cell phone usage, refrain from watching television, be alert to client
needs, clean up areas after themselves and elderly client, refrain from using offensive
language, respect elderly client views on politics and religion and to always remember they
are there for the needs of the client and not their own.
ELDERLY CLIENT AND/OR CLIENT REPRESENTATIVE:
The agency’s expectations of the elderly client and/or client representative include but not
limited to: inform agency immediately of unprofessional or poor service, direct caregivers to
the agency should caregivers have complaints about agency or client care duties, report theft
or any type of criminal activity to agency immediately, agree to the service care provided, sign
off on client care records at the end of each service week, inform agency of schedule
changes, never give money or gifts to caregivers unless approved by agency and report all
information critical in providing the best personal care for you or your loved one.