In most cases, a care assistant provides practical day-to-day help with the care of an elderly person. As a care assistant, it is your responsibility to build and maintain trust with the person under your charge and any family or friends involved in the patient’s overall care. There are several tips you can use to build a lasting and trusting relationship with a patient.
Establish a high code of behavior from the start. Show the patient respect by listening to and responding to concerns and complaints. Involve the patient under your care in appropriate decision-making processes. Demonstrate that you are not in the home to push the person around or ask him to do things against his wishes.
Set up a routine for the patient. One of the most effective ways to develop trust and minimize confusion in a caregiver/patient relationship is to perform specific activities in the same manner each time. For example, set specific meal times, bath times and exercise times.
Explain all procedures before implementing them. As a care assistant, you may be tasked with cleaning, washing and preparing light meals as well as providing assistance with daily personal care. Respect the patient’s level of comfort and boundaries regarding personal space. Tell the patient exactly what she can expect to happen during the completion of each task.
Maintain a positive relationship with family and friends. Pass along relevant information about the patient in a timely manner and provide health updates routinely. Identify patterns in behavior that could pose a future problem, such as signs of depression or aggression toward others.
Adopt a policy of transparency and open communication. Invite family members to join you and the patient during meal time or at different stages throughout the day. Simplify complex medical terminology for easier comprehension of the patient's health.