In the U.S., 26 percent of seniors receive a mixture of paid care and family care
, and nine percent rely solely on paid help, such as nurses who come to their homes.
While the elderly aren’t the only people who need to get used to new nurses, they often require nursing services in order to age in place. No matter the age of the patient, it’s important for that person to feel comfortable with a new nurse.
This is where you come in. You can help a loved one to feel comfortable by making sure that a new nurse is introduced in just the right way. Setting up a first meeting that you attend is important. After the first meeting, you may step in periodically to see how the relationship between nurse and patient is progressing.
If things go well, the third step will be stepping back and letting nurse and patient build stronger rapport.
Set Up a Friendly First Meeting
A new nurse will be very close to your loved one, whether your loved one is young or old. Nurses need to touch patients. They sometimes need to perform tasks which may make patients uncomfortable, whether it’s helping them go to the washroom, dressing them, or bathing them. For this reason, it’s important to set up a first meeting, where you, the nurse and the patient all sit down together and get acquainted. It’s better if the meeting is brief. When everyone introduces themselves and has a little chat, it will break the ice. A short initial meeting is more beneficial than bringing in a nurse who starts work immediately.
Monitor the Nurse and Patient Relationship
Good nurses understand that getting to know their patients
is very important. They make every effort to build positive relationships with their patients, with a mind to giving their patients the utmost dignity. While you may rely on a nurse with the right credentials and experience to reach out to your loved one in a friendly and caring spirit, it’s still a good idea to monitor the nurse and patient relationship
. This could be as easy as dropping by now and then, just to see how the chemistry between nurse and patient is. If a patient is quite young, you may be around more often.
A great nurse will make a patient feel better, physically and psychologically. A scientific study published in The Journal of American Medicine showed that home care is very beneficial to the elderly, as it prevents both functional decline in senior patients and nursing home admissions.
Step Back if Things Are Going Well
If the nurse who is making the home visits seems to be bonding well with your loved one, that’s great news. When your loved one is happy with home care from his or her new nurse, you’ll have greater peace of mind. When you sense a good rapport between nurse and patient, it’ll be time to step back a bit. Let the relationship between nurse and patient evolve on its own. Rapport will probably get much stronger. Of course, you will always want to be there for your loved one, but you’ll feel good knowing that the home nurse is taking care of your special person, even when you can’t be there.
Hiring a Good Nurse is Important
Whether you hire a nurse from an agency or by some other means, you should be very careful who you hire. Respected agencies will vet nurses for you. If you hire a nurse who isn’t represented by an agency, you’ll need to check the health care pro’s credentials and references carefully. Once you find a solid candidate and hire that person to care for your loved one, you’ll be ready to set up a friendly first meeting. After that, it’ll be time to monitor the nurse/patient relationship now and then, and eventually step back if things are going well.