Building Relationships with Service Users

Help & Advice

Building Relationships with Service Users

28th September 2019

The relationship between a Lotus Home Care caregiver and service-user is a unique one, since the service user is required to put their wellbeing and trust in someone they are unlikely to have met in an ordinary situation. There is likely to be a certain amount of apprehension and perhaps embarrassment about letting a stranger help them with day-to-day tasks and so it important that the caregiver tries to make the service user as comfortable as possible in their presence.

Making a Great First Impression

Whether the client is a first-time user of the service or a staffing change requires a new caseworker, first impressions count. Change is never easy, particularly when it is out of your control, but when it is accompanied by fear and frustration, it is important to make any transitions as stress-free as possible.

A care worker must be calm and confident – unfazed by awkward situations and always ready with a listening ear. They must understand that a service user may show their upset in a negative way, but that it is unlikely to be representative of their personality as a whole – asking someone else to take charge of intimate and personal bodily functions is a big deal and they are in a position of vulnerability. Be kind and gentle, but firm.

Building the Trust

Trust is something that is earned, rather than handed over freely. While some service users may accept their position faster than others, most will require a little bit of one-on-one time before they truly trust themselves in your hands. Patience and perseverance are important on both sides, so that a mutually trusting and respectful relationship can be created. The idea is for the caregiver to aid in promoting the independence of the service user for as long as possible – there is no need to do everything for them until they are absolutely unable to do it for themselves.

While the building of client relationships may seem like a lot of work, it is certainly one of the most rewarding parts of the job, making each visit an enjoyable activity rather than a chore. At Lotus Home Care, building great relationships is the most important thing that we do. We aim to make everyone feel comfortable and important, no matter how long we work with them and how limited their own abilities may be.

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