CAREGivers Companion: Inspiration for Home Instead CAREGivers
July 2013

Welcome to CAREGiver's Companion!

Dear CAREGiver,
Sometimes it's the little things you do that can make a big difference in your client's life. This newsletter is full of little tips and ideas to help you connect with your clients, from making a good first impression to making Double Strawberry Shortcake. Try one idea out this month and see what happens!

Your Home Instead Office Staff

 Let's Get Cooking
strawberry shortcake

Double Strawberry Shortcake

Try this doubly delicious variation of a classic summer dessert! (Hint: Mix softened strawberry jam into the whipped cream.)

Get more words of inspiration and encouragement.
Get the full recipe and other fun food ideas to try with your client.

Simple Tips for Connecting with Your Client

Every client is different. You may have clients you instantly "click" with, and others that you have to figure out like a puzzle. That's the great adventure of caregiving!

No matter what the situation, building a positive relationship with your clients (and with their family members) is important. Not only will it help you provide better care for your clients, but it will also help make the job more meaningful and fulfilling for you.

Here are a few tips to help you create and deepen that all-important connection with your clients:

First Impressions

  • Smile. Wear cheerful colors. Have a positive attitude.
    A client will likely warm up much faster to someone who comes in the door radiating sunshine.
  • Treat the client with respect.
    Using good manners can go a long way to earning a client's respect in return.
  • Put yourself in the client's shoes.
    Your client may feel just as nervous or awkward as you do. Ease the tension by asking questions until you find a common interest.

Getting to Know a Client

  • Ask open-ended questions.
    "How would you like me to organize your nightstand?" "Why is that your favorite song?" "Tell me about your family."
  • Experiment.
    You may not know what a client enjoys until you try it. If it works, great! If not, try to learn what your client would prefer instead.
  • Take it slow.
    A truly meaningful relationship will take patience, persistence and multiple shared experiences.

Were these tips helpful to you?

Have you ever had to say goodbye to a client you've grown close to? Send your thoughts to so we can discuss that topic in a future issue in a way that is helpful and relevant to you.

Disclaimer: Please call the office with specific client-related information, issues or concerns. Use to share ONLY newsletter feedback.

 Quality Time
Activity ideas to make time with your client fun and meaningful.

6 Conversation Starters

Conversation is the cornerstone of any good relationship. But it can be hard to keep the chit-chat going if you don't know much about your client. To get you started, here are six questions from Caring CardsTM. Sprinkle these questions throughout the day, using them during mealtimes or while helping with daily tasks.

  • What kind of pets did you have when you were growing up?
  • How did your parents decide to name you [George]?
  • What were some of your favorite subjects at school and why?
  • What food or drink was a special treat when you were a child?
  • What chores did you have to do when you were growing up?
  • What did your grandparents and great grandparents do for a living?
Get more conversation starters and other meaningful activity ideas to do with your client.
 CAREGiver Training Refresher


When you ask your client a question, it's important to listen to his answer. Sometimes there are challenges to listening, such as concern that you will run out of time to complete all your tasks or thinking about what you'll say next.

What are some things you could do to address these challenges?

  • Make sure your client can see and hear you.
  • Be patient; give the client time to talk.
  • Be cautious about putting words in your client's mouth. Don't assume you know what he is going to say.
  • Get to know your client and suggest using the Life JournalSM.
  • Don't be distracted by your cell phone.
  • If your client repeats things, don't point it out, just listen.

Were these tips helpful to you?

 Home Instead Happenings

New education program: Family Caregiver Stress ReliefSM

Resources you can share with your clients' family members

From your experience as a CAREGiver, you know how stressful it can be for your clients' family members to juggle the responsibilities and challenges of caring for a senior loved one.

You can help them face those challenges by sharing these resources available at

 Heart of a CAREGiver

Do you know someone who would be a great CAREGiver? You know what it takes to care for seniors so we welcome your recommendations! Invite them to apply at

Home Instead Senior Care

This newsletter is designed ONLY for CAREGivers within the Home Instead Senior Care® network.

You're receiving this email because you are a valued CAREGiver and we wanted to connect with you helpful tips & resources.