Successful homecare requires constant observation and reporting. One of the most important services a home care agency can provide to their clients and families is regular, updated information about their loved ones. Caregivers should regularly talk to husbands, wives, sons, daughters, and other relatives to report on their loved one’s condition and make adjustments, if needed, to the client’s care plans.
When caregivers meet their clients for the first time, they begin the process of learning about them and developing a general baseline that is used in the future to identify any changes that may have occurred. Caregivers often learn first about their clients from the client’s relatives and then from the clients themselves. From that point forward, caregivers observe their clients from day to day, paying particular attention to changes in their daily routines, behavior, ways of communicating, appearance, general mood or manner, and physical health.
Observation is a crucial part of the job to monitor any changes or progression in older adults’ conditions. This ensures that any symptoms indicating new and serious health conditions or any deterioration in current health conditions are recognized, reported, and attended to. Observation is constantly using sight, hearing, smell, and touch combined with your knowledge of the older adult to monitor any changes to their health or social wellbeing.
In a home care setting, observation is often separated into objective and subjective observations. Objective observation is the visual and measurable signs that are usually factual. This includes monitoring and recording vital signs, such as breathing, blood pressure, pulse, and temperature, and input/output ratio, such as any blood in urine or stools, bruises, rashes, and allergic reactions. By keeping a constant and accurate record of these readings, you can compare them against previous readings and monitor any changes or progression in the client’s conditions.
On the other hand, subjective observations are signs that cannot be measured and are usually verbal communications from the older adult on how they feel, such as nausea, an upset stomach, sore muscles, and headaches. These signs should be reported to be looked into further.
It is very important to constantly be sensitive to even subtle changes. A subtle change in a client’s condition may mean that he or she is at imminent risk. Action can be taken only if changes are noticed and reported. The earlier the better. Changes that are not reported can lead to serious outcomes. In order to identify a change in condition and know when to report it, the caregiver needs to understand what is normal (baseline) for a particular client’s condition and over time after that. Armed with this information, the caregiver will be able to identify changes and decide which ones need to be reported.
Caring for a loved one can be overwhelming. However, it is important to know that you have options. Contact us for a free in-home consultation to learn more about the options for your unique needs at 786-518-3622 Miami-Dade or 954-949-1332 Broward.
Our team is available to answer your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, including holidays. At 24/7 Nursing Care, we believe that your family is our family.