This is our second article detailing how care plans are used in customizing elder home care.  For more information, read our previous article on the components of a home health care plan.  We believe home care is a very personal matter and should be provided with consideration for a client’s wishes, lifestyle and likes and dislikes.  We use a tool called “Life History & Daily Routines” to contribute to our understanding of each client so that we can personalize the home care plan.

Life History & Daily Routines Questionnaire

Home caregivers generally share a lot of time with the person for whom they are caring.  Conversation and companionship are benefits of good home care, even if the caregiver is engaged in tasks such as housekeeping and personal care at the same time.  When caregivers know a bit more about the person for whom they are caring, it provides conversation-starters and helps them to better engage the person.  It also helps our caregiver to see your loved one as the complete person that he or she is, to know a little about their background and see beyond any illness or cognitive impairment the client may have now.

Life History: Some examples of questions we ask include: where the person lived most of his/her life, what town is considered home, college affiliation/area of study, occupation/employers, and military experience (and whether the person like to reminisce about them or not).  We ask about parents’ names, spouses (including any special stories, “how we met”, etc.), children and siblings.  We also ask about some practical issues, such as whether the client can read and write, is left or right handed and primary languages/other languages spoken.  Not all clients will wish to share all details of their personal history and we respect every client’s choice to share as much as they wish.  All information is kept confidential and secure.

Daily Activities: Regarding routines and activities, we ask about current and past leisure time activities and also list several activities in different areas that our caregivers might facilitate.  This includes social activities such as dining out, playing games, watching sports or attending cultural events; physical activities and exercise; spiritual activities such as meditation, singing hymns, reading the Bible or attending religious ceremonies; intellectual stimulation such as reading, puzzles & games, painting; emotional support such as reminiscing, pet interaction, support groups; and other purpose-driven activities such as volunteering, journaling, and gardening.

Home care is a personal experience.  Sharing your home and personal needs with someone requires a certain connection.  We work hard to make sure the client and caregiver are a good match, and that the caregiver is prepared to do the best job.  In reading over the information we gather in our life history and daily routines questionnaire, you can begin to see how such information would improve the relationship and care being provided.  Quality home care is about more than providing anyone to complete a shift of care, it is about providing the right type of care for that person when they need it.  We call this “Home Care…for the Way You Live”.

Additional Resources: As you prepare for home care, you may wish to read our previous article on Preparing for a Home Caregiver.  Though this was written primarily for Alzheimer’s caregivers, much of the information applies to any elder and family and will help you to more readily provide helpful information to your potential home caregivers.

CONTACT US TODAY to find out how we can build a personal care plan for you or your loved one. We offer affordable home care plans for a variety of needs and budgets, short or long-term care and assistance with insurance coverage for home caregiver services.