Do Boundaries in Home Care Seem "Cringy"?
Boundaries are tough topics because when we talk to an owner or an administrator in non-medical home care about boundaries, many times we just CRINGE. “Oh no, do we have to talk about that?”
We cringe because we know that even our best and most professional caregivers sometimes cross those boundaries. Many caregivers obliterate them all together, with there being no respect or understanding of personal boundaries or how to act like a professional.
Caregivers aren't the only ones that cross boundaries. Clients do too. Clients have a tendency to want to know a lot about their caregivers. They will ask questions that are truly none of their business. And caregivers will sometimes have a hard time putting up the boundary. It goes both ways and the cost to the agency could be immense.
We can lose clients and caregivers both when they make private arrangements, or they quit and they're just gone all of a sudden! That happens all the time, and that's our biggest fear. But, we also can lose a little bit of our hard-earned reputation. We can lose time whenever it's gone too far - when we have to do reports or we have to, God forbid, even get into litigation!
In my opinion, communication with both clients and caregivers about boundaries, clear, transparent communication is key. Help your caregivers understand why we are asking you not to talk about personal things. Many times, caregivers just literally do not believe that a client will turn on them. but they will, and we need to share those real life stories about what happens when you blab too much of your personal business. The same goes for clients. We need to help them understand why, and even share boundaries policies with clients to help them understand that you are a professional agency. This means the agency works for the client and the caregivers work for the agency.
Keep that line open like reminding them to not make scheduling arrangements directly with your caregivers. "This is why you want to make those scheduling arrangements through the office when there's a change. You want to always keep us involved. We work for you and the caregivers work for us. So we're asking you to keep us involved in those things."
Sometimes that's enough. And when it comes to your caregivers, you are already looking to form loyalty when you hire them. Make your mission, their mission because you're all on the same team! You also need to be on the same page.