With the fluid nature of the in-home senior care industry, managing the transition from aide to aide can be a big stumbling block for many seniors, and can lead to problems like discomfort and general annoyance. In order to avoid these issues and make the transition as seamless as possible, there are certain steps you can take to smooth out the process, whether it's you, a parent, or a friend switching aides:
List Out the Daily Routine
Many seniors find great comfort in their daily routine, so it can be nerve wracking when that routine is disturbed. This can be avoided simply by printing out a spreadsheet and filling in things that come in a regular daily, weekly, or monthly cycle. Be sure to include not only things like medication and sleep cycles, but fun things as well like when a favorite game show is on. This level of planning will help to keep as much of the schedule consistent as possible.
Make Pet Peeves Clear
Oftentimes there is a short adjustment period when a new aide is brought into a senior's home, and this adjustment period can be unpleasant if the aide has a habit that just bugs the resident. This can lead to an awkward situation and make the transition even more difficult for both you and your new aide. The effort should be made to make a new aide aware if a senior gets annoyed by things like where the remote goes or letting the laundry sit in the washer for too long, as these little things can add up and increase the stress associated with this change.
It is often the case in many seniors' homes that many places and objects are labeled, as this can help aides and the resident to make sure everything goes smoothly. If a new aide needs to get something in a hurry, extensive labeling can help, especially if certain objects have a different name to the resident.
This should also apply to the aide himself, who should wear a name tag for the first week or so until the resident is fully comfortable with his or her new aide, especially if the senior is suffering from dementia.
If your mother or father is suffering from a revolving door of new aides every few months, then you know how frustrating it can be to start from square one every time. In order to avoid this, simple steps like scheduling, communicating, and labeling can be hugely helpful during these transitional periods.