Seven Telehealth Tips for Caregivers
1. Create a Safe and Confidential Space
Telehealth sessions should take place in a quiet location that ensures privacy and trust that the conversations are confidential.
- Avoid high-activity areas in the home, such as the kitchen, or a space where there is a lot of movement and distractions.
- Be mindful of siblings walking through shared rooms or spaces.
- A room with the option for the door to shut is ideal. Use a fan or a noise machine outside the door to help increase privacy.
- If the child’s bedroom is being used make sure to differentiate the place of rest and the therapeutic space.
Tip: Bring in a different chair and set up a small desk area with a table.
2. Keep Safety in Mind
Even though Telehealth is a safe, effective way to provide therapeutic services, remember that the child’s therapist is not physically in the room.
Make sure to provide the therapist with designated adults as the emergency contacts who are present in the home and are willing to follow a safety plan if an emergency takes place during the Telehealth session.
3. Limit Distractions
Have your child dressed and ready for the session, just like they would be if they were meeting with the therapist in the office.
- Make sure the other children in the home are occupied with another activity to help your child to remain engage, focus, and maintain confidentiality.
- Remind the child to wear headphones (if they have them) to hear their therapist for an extra layer of privacy.
- Remove possible distractions for your child, such as game systems, homework, texting friends that might interrupt your child’s ability to engage.
4. Coordinate Care for Your Child
Communicate with the therapist in advance about whether there are items that are needed for the session.
This could include supplies such as worksheets from the therapist, or art materials your child might use like markers or paper.
We will arrange a way to provide those for you!
5. Stay Involved
Just like in office-based therapy, caregiver involvement is a key to success.
- Caregivers will check in at the beginning or end of each session and need to be in the home during the entire session.
- Plan to be around or available by phone if the therapist needs you.
- At times there will be caregiver-child sessions and sessions alone with the caregivers. Discuss ways you can be involved if your work schedule prohibits you from being present for your child’s session.
6. Help Them Share Their World
Remind your child that Telehealth can be a chance for your child to show their therapist more of their world.
Encourage your child to share their favorite pet, their coziest spot, and the places they play on screen.
7. Be a Part of the Solution
Work together with your child’s therapist if the length or frequency of sessions is not working out.
There may be some solutions-such as shortening a session-that can help you and your child stay connected.
You are your child’s most important support. We could not do it without you. Thank you!