Valentine’s Day is all about showing others how much you care for them. A kind word here and a generous gesture there can make someone’s day. Even the smallest and simplest acts can have the biggest impacts.
Caring for one another is an integral part of home health and hospice, too. Homecare agency clinicians and staff do the best job they can for their patients so that they can have the highest quality of life possible.
In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, try the six acts of kindness below. But don’t just save them for the holiday – practice them all year round to spread the love.
1. Take the time to talk
We go around saying “Hi, how are you?” to everyone we meet, but are we really interested in hearing about someone’s day when we go through these rote social routines?
Especially in the homecare world, where there always seems to be an endless list of tasks to accomplish and boxes to check, real, heartfelt conversation can be passed over. It’s an unfortunate side effect of busy workflows and an industry focus on efficiency, as building strong, meaningful relationships with patients can help improve the quality of care and boost happiness levels over all.
Pledge to change that by sitting down and talking with your patients a little more – ask them about how their day is going, their interests, hobbies or favorite memories, what they’re most looking forward to, their favorite television shows or movies or any other topics. Taking the time to get to know your patients better and talk will put smiles on their faces and build connections. This attitude should extend to all aspects of your home health business, including when staff call to schedule or confirm patient appointments.
2. Be a good listener
Lending an ear can work wonders. When a patient is concerned about something or has questions or complaints, be sure to really listen. Sometimes people want advice, but just a friendly someone to hear them out. When we’re so concerned about the things we have to say and do, it’s easy to forget the importance of truly listening.
3. Recognize accomplishments
Celebrating birthdays and big holidays is the norm, but don’t let other opportunities for cheer and festivities pass by. Recognizing staff, clinician or patient accomplishments and milestones goes a long way toward boosting morale and shows appreciation for others. Perhaps an administrative staff member just completed her first marathon, or a patient welcomed their first grandchild. A card, bouquet of flowers or fruit basket will brighten their day and recognize the specialness of the occasion.
“Consider joining forces at your home health agency to raise money or collect items for a charity.”
4. Give back
There are many organizations out there that need support – consider joining forces at your homecare agency to raise money or collect items for a charity. Find a cause important to you, then set a goal at your agency to accomplish a certain amount of fundraising. You could also do something like starting a knitting club to make hats for the homeless, or dedicate one day each quarter to having staff and clinicians participate in a community service program.
5. Create a happy environment
Little touches of fun throughout your organization can put a smile on someone’s face. Colorful posters, bright flower arrangements, plants, banners with uplifting phrases – these are just some examples of decorations you can add. For holidays, go all-out with festive decorations, too – perhaps leave out a box of chocolates this Valentine’s Day. You could even play happy, uplifting music to brighten up the day.
6. Pay it forward
Grab a coffee for a hard-working co-worker. Buy some fruit for staff to snack on. Tidy up the office without being asked. Take someone out for lunch. Write a handwritten note to someone that needs extra support. Small acts of kindness build momentum for a continuous culture of caring at your home health or hospice agency.