Home care providers take on a great deal of responsibility. In this industry, trust is essential. Serving and caring for other people is quite rewarding and home care providers can build amazing relationships with the clients they support. But to be able to provide the best service and client satisfaction, communication is critical.
The Institute for Healthcare Communication’s June 2018 newsletter explains that “while strong communication skills are essential to forming relationships and building trust, they are especially vital to understanding and addressing social determinants of health that affect the most vulnerable populations that healthcare organizations serve.”
Empathic communication skills are essential. According to Life at Work, “Empathic communication is communication that takes into account what we do, the way we do it, and our impact on other people.”
With empathic communication, home care providers offer so much more than just daily support and assistance.
Build Trust with Clients
Home care providers must build a trusting relationship with their clients in order to meet their client’s needs, keep them in home care, and help them receive the support that they need. To build trust with a client, communication needs to be free of judgment and full of compassion and care. Understanding the challenges and feelings that the vulnerable population experiences can help create an environment of genuine empathy which allows communication to flow more easily.
Help Clients Open Up About Their Needs
When a client doesn’t trust the care providers around them, they are less likely to disclose information. Fear of judgment, anger, confusion and frustration will keep clients tight-lipped. Empathic communication will help clients feel heard, understood and cared for which will promote a safe environment and relationship for information to be shared.
Communication plays more than just one role with care providers. Clear communication means being able to communicate under stress, negotiating, expressing your own needs while considering someone else’s needs, listening fully and practicing honesty without insulting anyone. Strong communication for care providers builds mutual respect and sets a standard that solidifies integrity and honesty.
People who seek care providers need emotional support but are often afraid, ill and confused. The emotional stress that patients endure when transitioning to receiving care is high and care providers can use good communication skills to ease the stress, promote a safe and comfortable environment, and provide the emotional support that their clients need – even when those clients are guarded.
Communication is an essential skill when caring for a vulnerable individual. Without good communication, many important needs of a client may be missed, clients might discontinue services and ultimately not receive the support that they need. Taking the time to build on empathic communication skills can greatly improve a care provider's success in providing the support that will truly benefit the clients.