When hiring a homecare aide, make sure that cultural respect is high on your checklist of what is required of the homecare professional you are considering, along with experience, expertise, patience, compassion, dependability and communication. “Culturally-sensitive” care is integral to providing quality healthcare that is responsive to each patient’s needs, according to the National Institute of Health.
“Many of our clients are from diverse religious and ethnic backgrounds, so every caregiver should be fully knowledgeable about the patient’s cultural traditions and language,” says Louise Weadock, founder and CEO of ACCESS Nursing. “We require that all of our nurses and aides have worked with a diverse population and have experience with the religious and cultural traditions specific to each patient.”
She said that many of her aides plan and participate with Jewish patients and their families in Shabbat dinner on Fridays and others are now preparing for Chinese New Year.
“It is our belief that cultural respect is integral to providing the highest level of care that can lead to a positive patient experience and health outcome,” she added.
Here are some tips from ACCESS Nursing for caregivers to ensure that they provide the best care possible to patients from all cultures and backgrounds. Understanding a patient’s culture and the expectations within their cultural beliefs can help to combat any issue that may arise.
- Be Informed and Educated -- Before entering a patient’s home, it is imperative that a caregiver gain a full understanding of a patient’s beliefs, cultural practices and traditions. Do your research; know about the specific traditions and holidays. You are not expected to be an expert on all cultures, traditions or religions, but it is necessary to be aware
- Communication Is Key -- When a patient requests a caregiver of a certain background and knowing a certain language, we do our best to accommodate them. For Chinese speaking patients we try to provide caregivers who are fluent in Chinese, for Spanish speaking patients we try to provide Spanish speaking caregivers, and so on.
- Incorporate Culture into Daily Care -- Providing the best quality of care to your patients should include maintaining the traditions that are important to them. For Jewish patients this could mean keeping Kosher or observing Shabbat on Friday evenings. For Chinese patients this could mean celebrating the Chinese New Year and having a traditional dinner.
- Establish a Strong Caregiver/Patient Relationship -- The ability to understand a patient’s culture, background and traditions helps to bridge the gap between caregiver and patients. Be mindful of differences and take the necessary steps towards making your client feel comfortable. Forming a bond is key to a trusting and healthy caregiver/patient relationship. Each circumstance will be different and a caregiver’s ability to adapt to each situation and each cultural demand is key to forming this healthy relationship.
Access Nursing Services includes caregivers of all backgrounds, cultures and religions. Every caregiver is hand-picked for you based on your personal care and lifestyle needs. https://www.accessnursing.com/services/home-care/