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What Families Want Caregivers and Home Health Care Nurses to Know

Providing care for someone with a loving family can be a rewarding and refreshing experience. The deep connections and willingness to do whatever it takes to provide the best possible care for a loved one is admirable and inspiring.

When a family is in need of extra care, however, it can be an emotionally turbulent time. Everyone’s lives in the family have been affected and the need to hire a caregiver or home health care nurse can feel like a devastating blow.

Trusting someone else with the care of a loved one can be extremely challenging, so it’s important not to take it personally when a family member seems to overstep. Understanding that the families you are working with are processing and working through emotions while continuing with their daily lives can make you a more effective provider.

Report Back as Many Details as Possible

Sharing details about the time you spend with a family’s loved one shows not only your attention to the job, but the importance of the person. A family is more likely to trust and feel safe with a provider that is specific about time spent with their loved one.

During this difficult time, family members may feel guilty about not being able to spend every second with their loved one. Sharing conversations and stories helps the family feel more connected and involved in these important moments.

You and Your Client’s Connection is Important to Everyone’s Wellbeing

Studies show that meaningful relationships have positive short- and long-term effects on health and that supportive interactions with others benefit immune, endocrine, and cardiovascular functions. Being a caregiver or home health care nurse poses many challenges, but the way in which you react to and are able to handle a situation can impact the health of your client.

While positive connections benefit health, tense interactions can be damaging by contributing to psychological distress, increasing heart rate, leading to higher blood pressure, and more. When the person you are caring for is stressed, it can be more difficult to do your job effectively and cause a tense environment for everyone.

When your job feels overwhelming, it’s important to take care of yourself. Remaining calm and professional on the job will lead to everyone feeling more comfortable. Practice self-care and engage in activities outside of work to help manage stress. Not only will this lead you to be happier at work, it will allow you to be more productive and everyone around you will feel calmer.

Suggested Article: How to Manage Stress as a Home Health Care Worker

It May Not be About You

Having a family member in need of extra care can be heartbreaking and isolating. Close connections may be grieving the loss of who the person was before they needed a care provider. Family members may be stressed and learning to live with difficult changes, which can lead to acting out or blaming others. It’s important to remember that everyone is dealing with their own challenges and to not take it personally if it feels like your relationship with the family is rocky.

Giving up control of some of the responsibilities involved in caring for someone can also be challenging. If a family member disagrees with your recommendations, it is usually because the family member has a clear belief of what is best for their loved one.


Families that are in need of a caregiver or home health care nurse are going through a difficult time, so it’s important to remember that everyone is trying their best. By being understanding and sympathetic, you can build a more trusting and open relationship with a family. Establishing a positive relationship will lead to a better environment that allows the focus to be on providing the best care possible for their loved one.

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