Relationships Matter for Providing the Best Long-Term Care

Human nature being what it is, good relationships in life tend to make things go more smoothly and successfully. This principle seems to apply equally well whether we’re talking about families, careers or schools. Comprised of equal parts communication, trust, confidence and comfort levels, good relationships just seem to make life easier and better.

Connecting with Staff Members Can Promote Better Care

Good relationships are also important for providing the best long-term care for your loved one.

With that in mind, there are several things that you can do as a family member to support the best possible care of your loved one while also creating valuable partnerships with the staff members who provide their care every day. By communicating effectively and often, in an environment of mutual respect, family members and caregiver staff can create the most effective scenario for assuring that your loved one’s needs and preferences are met, and that their days are pleasant and comfortable.

It’s important for family members to function as advocates for their loved one. At the same time, it’s also important for them to carry out this responsibility in ways that will achieve the desired outcomes of high-quality care and a fulfilling lifestyle for their loved one. Family members can be productive, contributing members of the care team by doing the following:

  • Talk to the caregiver staff about your loved one’s personal history or life story so staff members can relate to them on a more personal level.
  • Let your loved one’s caregivers know about their likes, dislikes and preferences (e.g. what they like to be called and what their favorite foods are).
  • Discuss with caregivers those things that your loved one has always had a special interest in, (e.g. cooking, gardening, reading novels, golf, etc).
  • Advise caregivers about your loved one’s normal routine – Are they a morning person? Do they like to stay up late at night?
  • Let caregivers know if you’d like to be called if they detect any minor changes in your loved one’s status, (e.g. if they begin to behave a bit differently).
  • Ask to meet with care staff on a regularly scheduled basis to discuss their perceptions of your loved one’s status, as well as to share ideas for making your loved one’s quality of life better.  
  • Be respectful of staff members, and let them know you appreciate all they do. Ask them how you can be helpful to them in doing their job. Respectful two-way conversations build stronger relationships and typically yield the best results.

By working in concert with the long-term care staff, you can achieve a harmonious and productive environment of care for your loved one.

Relationships Are an Important Ingredient for Quality of Life

Saunders House believes in the value of partnerships and embraces the role of families as important partners in improving the lives of loved ones in our care.

The concept of family is at the center of the Saunders House philosophy. Our professional and compassionate team treats our long-term residents as part of our family. We continually strive to provide them with exceptional care and an extraordinary quality of life.

At Saunders House, we also stress the importance of individuality. We understand that each one of our residents has a unique history, a special story, and unique needs and desires, so we provide personalized care and services tailored to each individual.

The Saunders House philosophy is often described as “resident-centered care.” This approach to interacting with residents is described in the article, INDIVIDUAL AND COMMUNITY LIFE,” which states, “Long-term care communities are characterized both by the unique individuals who inhabit them, and by the relationships and interactions among these individuals. When residents and staff alike are honored as individuals and given opportunities to contribute in a meaningful way to life in the long-term care community, the (long-term care) community as a whole is richer. Honoring residents as individuals entails understanding their personal rhythms, routines and preferences, and then supporting resident decision-making in all aspects of their lives.” 

The article adds that supporting residents in preserving their personal routines, making decisions about how their day unfolds, and maintaining control and autonomy of their lives is fundamental to a less institutional experience across the long-term care continuum.

Expectations around the primary responsibilities of staff are re-aligned to prioritize relationship building over a task list. It requires a system and team process for evaluating and identifying what is important and meaningful to each resident in their living environment and their daily activities.

A Healthy Social Environment Improves Lives

We know that it is important to keep our residents actively engaged and surrounded by friends and family. That’s why we feel one of the most valuable advantages of living in our community is the abundance of programming, peers and possibilities at every turn. At Saunders House, there is always something to do and always someone to share the experience with! 

We believe that total wellness can only be realized when a person is fulfilled in mind, body and spirit. So, we offer more than the care that’s needed; we offer services, amenities, activities and surroundings that truly fulfill each individual’s wellness needs. From beautiful surroundings and delicious dining to engaging programs and fun activities, we do all we can to help our residents lead an active and meaningful lifestyle.

To us, caring for seniors is more than our profession – it’s our purpose. Our genuine concern for those in our care is evident in everything we do.

At Saunders House, it is our mission not only to promote the physical and emotional well-being of our residents, but to also provide their families with peace of mind, knowing they can entrust their loved ones to our compassionate care.

We’d Love to Hear Your Thoughts!

If you have comments or questions about our blog, we’d love to hear from you. We also encourage you to share any of your caregiving experiences with us. Please share your thoughts in our comments section.

Discover our Healthy Tradition of Care and Wellness

Located adjacent to Lankenau Hospital, Saunders House – part of Main Line Senior Care Alliance – has a celebrated tradition of providing exceptional care and services to seniors and their families. It’s a tradition we’re proud to continue.

Today, Saunders House offers a range of services, including short-term rehabilitationtraditional nursing care, restorative carememory carerespite care and specialized care for individuals with visual impairments – all in a setting that is warm, welcoming and nurturing.

For more information on Saunders House, our Short-Term Rehabilitation program and other professional services, please call us today at (610) 658-5100 or contact us online.

Disclaimer: The articles and tip sheets on this website are offered by Saunders House and Main Line Senior Care Alliance for general informational and educational purposes and do not constitute legal or medical advice. For legal or medical advice, please contact your attorney or physician.


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