4 Ways Caregivers Can Improve Communication Between a Client and Their Distant Loved Ones

by: Brent Scott

If you’re a caregiver, you see first-hand how powerful family interaction and support is on a client’s health and mental wellbeing. It’s been said that communication is key, and as we have shared in the past, effectively speaking to your senior client is the best way to build a professional relationship and earn trust. However, beyond the interaction you provide as their caregiver, you also have a role assisting clients with their outbound communication; including phone calls, emails, and video chats with long distance loved ones. Helping your senior client contact local and distant friends and family members is a great way to keep everyone informed and engaged. For help improving your client’s outbound communication, you should consider using these 4 safe and easy strategies.

1.Utilize Technology

             New device startup

You may be asked by a distant loved one to help setup an Internet connected device. Conveniently, most new computers, tablets, and smartphones have a guided setup procedure. They may also come equipped with advanced accessibility settings that simplify the interface and make it easier to use. Before exiting the settings, it’s essential you enable and customize the privacy settings to the needs of the primary user. When in doubt, consult the setup instructions that come with the device, or select the most strict security and privacy setting. This is also the optimal time to install or utilize existing antivirus subscriptions to further secure the device. If your client is subscribed to an antivirus or identity theft monitoring service, such as LifeLock, install them on all new devices.

             Communication applications

Skype, Google Hangouts, and Apple Facetime make face-to-face video communication possible. Although the interface is relatively simple, you may need to assist your client and help them navigate the device and make a call using an app. The next section shows how combined with an online schedule, this can become a simple part of your client’s weekly routine, and gives you time for handle other tasks.


2. Make an Online Calendar & Communication Schedule

             Google Calendar

Google makes it easy to schedule appointments and events. Beyond keeping everything in one location, those invited to your scheduled event can instantly access and request a video chat. Creating a weekly communication schedule with those who are far away allows client-family communication while answering any questions or concerns you may have.


3. Keep a Running List or Recorded Notes

Keeping accurate notes is a great way to stay organized. As a busy caregiver, attending multiple appointments and balancing schedules or clients can get confusing. Therefore, keeping a list of simple and precise notes can be extremely helpful. Whether you keep a notebook or use your phone for digital voice recordings, when used regularly, these methods keep your tasks and due dates in order. It’s also a great practice to note any physical or mental changes your client may be experiencing. In fact, your notes could then be used by doctors to pinpoint phases, trends, or developing issues.


4. Share News, Pictures, and Family Updates

Your client may ask for your assistance accessing, viewing, and posting things online. This is a great opportunity to show long-distance loved ones what’s going on at home, and the developing stories in the family. At this time, you’ll be teaching your client how to use the device or app while showing them how to post, share, and comment safely. Walking them through this process, show the user how public and private share settings are used to keep potentially sensitive content away from unauthorized viewers.