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How Communication Can Help Ease Seniors’ Hesitation for Home Health Support

How Communication Can Help Ease Seniors’ Hesitation for Home Health Support Blog Image

As seniors age, they often need in-home support for taking care of basic needs, recovering from injuries or procedures, and receiving in-home therapies. According to reports from Medicare data, there are approximately 3.3 million people that utilized home health services in the United States. While the goal of this type of support is to help seniors who may need assistance maintain independence, there is often resistance and apprehension among those in need of home health support.  

Unpacking Seniors’ Hesitance for Home Health Support 

Seeking home health care is a big decision for anyone, especially older adults. Understanding and validating their concerns is one of the most important things you can do. Let’s take a look at some factors that play into seniors’ reluctance to get home health support. 

  • Retaining Independence. Remaining independent is a desire of most seniors, especially when it becomes apparent that they need additional assistance to do activities of daily living. They want to be able to continue doing the things they love without feeling like they have to rely on someone else. 
  • Trust. Bringing someone new into your home is always a concern, no matter what the situation. This is especially true when introducing a new caregiver who is accountable for tasks ranging from daily activities to medical treatments which hold great responsibility.
  • Fear of Exclusion from Healthcare Decisions. Along with losing independence, many older adults can feel excluded if their loved ones do not work with them and consider their input when making care decisions with a new caregiver. 

How Communication Can Help Ease Seniors’ Concerns

It is important that families and home health staff do their best to understand seniors’ concerns as they navigate a new home health care situation. Some of the best ways to involve seniors in their own care is through open and frequent communication. 

Build a Rapport

Developing a trusting and empathic relationship is one of the most important parts of helping seniors become more comfortable with home health staff.  Caregivers can send well wishes for special occasions and thoughtful notes through communication technology. Additional communication technology can help home health care organizations survey their patients and clients to explore their wants and needs as well as take a pulse of how the organization is preforming in the eyes of those they support. 

Consistency is Key

Consistent communication can help seniors get used to working with someone new, especially if they have never had in-home care before. Utilizing an omnichannel communication platform can enable home health care organizations to quickly and efficiently interact with clients to share information, perform wellness checks, and convey appointment reminders. The more home health providers communicate with their client and patients the more connected and at ease they will feel. Bidirectional communication can also go a long way to help seniors feel heard by allowing them to express their concerns and ask questions. 

Meet Seniors Where They are with Technology

More and more seniors are integrating technology into their daily routine to connect with family and friends. Look for communications tools that offer a variety of ways to communicate – phone call, text message, email, or Alexa devices. And meet seniors where they are in terms of technology by allowing them to select their preferred means of communication. 

VoiceFriend Can Help 

The transition to a new home health care situation can be anxiety inducing and stressful for seniors, their families and the staff set to support them. But it doesn’t have to be. With understanding and open communication, the process can be much easier for all parties. VoiceFriend is a top-rated communication and engagement solution that can assist caregivers, older adults and their families during the transition to in-home care, making it less stressful for everyone involved. Learn more about VoiceFriend today.