Ask Vanessa: Professional Boundaries For Caregivers
Mar 17, 2023
4 min read
My father has developed a close relationship wih his private caregiver. I overheard his caregiver sharing too much personal information (finances). His caregiver has also posted pictures of my father on her Facebook account, and has occasionally stayed beyond her shift. This is a concern. As a home care agency, what steps do you take to set professional boundaries for your caregivers?
A caregiver plays a very special part in making a difference in the quality of life her client enjoys. She can create a special relationship and bond with her care recipient As a home care provider, Care Indeed strives to make our community view caregiving as a widely respected and trusted profession like nursing. Before a caregiver is hired, she has to attend an orientation that discusses her role as a caregiver, and professional conduct that calls for honesty, pride in her work, and respect for other people. Before we send her to a client, she knows in her heart what client-centered care means.
Professional boundaries refer to limits and spaces between the caregiver’s role (power) and the care recipient’s vulnerability. During the initial training, and throughout a caregiver’s employment, we teach her to always act in the best interests of her client, and to respect her client’s dignity, autonomy, and privacy. She is aware that she is to abstain from attaining personal gain at the client’s expense, and to refrain from committing any act that could jeopardize a safe and therapeutic caregiver-client relationship.
Signs of a caregiver’s inappropriate behavior include: discussing personal issues with a client, keeping secrets with a client, and spending more time than is necessary with a client. These signs can be subtle, but are considered early warning signs. Excessive personal disclosure by a caregiver can cause distress for the client; if this goes on repeatedly, it can create confusion between the needs of the caregiver and those of the client. Your father’s caregiver needs to establish a caring, not overinvolved, relationship; her use of social media can blur the lines between her professional and personal lives.
To further prevent boundary crossing and/or violations, a Care Indeed caregiver is not to accept gifts or money from a client, borrow money or anything from a client, offer to provide assistance to client outside of her role, or have a romantic or intimate relationship with a client. She knows what HIPAA is, and takes the privacy of her client information very seriously.
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