If you or your loved one require home health care for the first time, you may not know exactly how much information you need to share with your home health aide, companion care giver, physician or nurse. On the one hand, you will want to provide them with enough information to get the best possible care. On the other hand, you want to do your best to maintain your sense of independence and privacy. Maintaining the right balance can be difficult for some, but it is not impossible.
In general, considering the following dos and don’ts:
Do tell your home health provider about your medical conditions. Most of the time, you will be asked a series of questions about your general health. These questions are an important part of making sure you receive the right care. It will also help ensure you receive care from someone qualified to handle your specific case.
Do be thorough about your health history. Sometimes the smallest details can make a big difference your overall treatment. It can be tedious to go over every little health problem for so many years, but sometimes the things that seem insignificant to you can be red flags for a health care provider.
Do be honest about how you feel. Some people think it is impolite or unnecessary to complain about pain or discomfort. Put those feelings aside and tell your nurse or aide about any reactions, symptoms, or other health issues you have. Your provider cannot help you if they do not know what is wrong.
Do keep a list of family members or friends they can call in an emergency. While most home health providers will collect this kind of information from you before the first day, it is often helpful to keep an information sheet posted somewhere in your home where it is easy to find.
Don’t give out sensitive personal information. It is a bad idea to share personal information like passwords and PIN numbers with people you don’t know. Never give out this information, and make sure that any documents containing this type of information are out of sight of your caregiver.
Don’t talk about valuables or where you keep them. Home caregivers are some of the most professional and caring people you will ever meet. However, it is still in your best interest not to talk about where you keep valuable items like cash, jewelry and other collectibles. Of course, it’s always best to keep valuables in a personal safe or store them in a safe deposit box.