Relationship Before Task

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One of the things we like to say at Home Instead Senior Care serving Central Oregon is that we put relationship before task.

What does this mean exactly? Well, mainly that we value the trust our clients have placed in us and that we work hard to keep it. Building relationships with seniors is what drew us to CAREGiving in the first place and we use it as a jumping-off point for everything else we do.

This is particularly important when we are caring for a client with Alzheimer’s.

According to a 2012 study for the Alzheimer’s Foundation, about half of family caregivers say they would consider long-term care if the person they care for becomes too difficult to handle (59%), the afflicted self-harms (54%) or if they fear injury or harm to themselves (45%) or other family members (48%).

For many families, this is a heartbreaking option.

A few years ago, Home Instead Senior Care developed our Alzheimer’s CARE program to work with families to cope with some of the more difficult behaviors related to Alzheimer’s before they escalate into events that could lead to hospitalization. We have implemented a comprehensive training program for our CAREGivers and also offer periodic free workshops for family caregivers within the community.

Among the many things we discuss in the CARE program is the need to be flexible about things that need to be done. Yes, many people with dementia and Alzheimer’s require a certain sense of routine, but sometimes it is necessary for a caregiver to adjust his or her routine or agenda in order to keep the person they are caring for on an even keel.

For example, if one of our CAREGivers is caring for a person with Alzheimer’s who reacts badly to attempts to bathe him, our CAREGiver knows that the bath doesn’t necessarily have to happen first thing in the morning. He or she might spend hours playing music and talking with the senior before attempting to start the process. When the bath finally happens, the CAREGiver makes it a priority to keep the senior calm… even if it means a few false starts along the way.

The task will get done. We know this. But we strongly believe that by putting the relationship first, we are helping those with Alzheimer’s age in place better and for a longer period of time.

For more information, please call Home Instead Senior Care of Central Oregon at 541-330-6400 or Like us on Facebook.


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