What can we do to help our caregiver and our father connect?

Q: We made the decision to have caregivers come into our home to assist with my father’s care. He is shy, not used to new people and the caregivers are having a hard time connecting with my father. He is open to having the assistance. What are some useful conversation starters that can help them connect?

Sometimes it’s as easy as asking questions and listening. But for starters, creating and fostering a positive, trusting environment is the first step. Bombarding with questions may have the opposite effect you are hoping for so take it slow and use cues, such as continued engagement and body language. Connecting with your father takes time. Conversation opener: Are you from this area? Seeking information where one was born opens up dialogue. From there, it’s a matter of caregivers engaging with your father and allowing him to share facets of his life. You can assist by initially engaging with the caregivers and your father regarding important people in his life, jobs, and hobbies that give the caregivers insight about your father. One of the most important topics is, “What is important to your dad?” Is it going for walks, spending time looking at photo albums and reminiscing, watching his favorite baseball team? Caregivers connect simply by spending time with people and listening. Please contact Freedom Home Care if you are looking for a caregiver who seeks to serve others and know the whole person (507-387-HOME (4663).

Ann Cesafsky 
Licensed Social Worker