Providing senior care as an in-home care provider is a remarkably rewarding experience.
Your clients have the chance to stay in their own home, rather than having to enter a care facility. With your work as a caregiver, you can provide them with support, safety and compassion.
Celebrate Little Victories
It is easy to rush through your day, from home to work to errands and back again to start the cycle over. Working with senior clients can remind you to view small successes with gratitude. When your clients succeed in simple activities such as transferring from bed to chair without help, you can help them to celebrate their maintenance of these small acts of independence and strength.
Invest In Your Own Health
Bette Davis was right, getting old isn’t for sissies. Watching your clients struggle to overcome illness or injury reminds all of us to be thankful for the health we’ve got and to want to build a stronger and healthier future.
Each of us are likely facing health challenges in the future. Some are genetic and some are just bad luck. However, by keeping an eye on your current activities and lifestyle choices, you can improve your own chances of a healthier old age.
Listening Equals Respect and Healing
Obviously, your first job is to tend to the physical needs of your client. Whether that means assisting with bathing or dressing, providing meal preparation help or just helping to take care of laundry or housework, there are tasks that you need to finish by the end of the day.
Serving as a companion and caregiver is also a large part of your job. If your client likes to stay up on the news, you may have a great chance to engage them in discussions of current events. The ability to make social connections becomes harder as we age, and social isolation can lead to depression.
Daily Monitoring Can Detect Health Problems Earlier
One of the best things an in-home care provider can offer is consistent monitoring. If your client starts to experience confusion, memory troubles or has trouble talking, you may well be the first to notice.
Quality senior care enables you to closely monitor the condition of your senior clients. From the condition of their skin to any changes in cognition or speech, you can let their family and physician know of any changes.
Avoid Focusing On “Things”
Often, seniors in need of a senior caregiver need to worry about downsizing their home and moving into a more manageable space. Helping someone through this process can be an eye-opening experience.
Many of us spend our lives worrying about making sure we get the right house, car, clothes and furniture. We always seem to be chasing that next purchase but take little joy in owning that item before we have to buy something else.
As a senior caregiver, you may need to participate in these downsizing decisions. Your client will likely need emotional support as well as physical assistance as they reduce the size of their household.
It’s All About Relationships
The ability to spend a great deal of time with one client is truly a gift and a learning experience. Often, caregivers relationship with their clients can grow very close. Watching your clients struggle with the challenges of aging and illness can be distressing.
However, your work is providing your clients with stability and comfort that they may not be able to get from anyone else. Knowing that you will be there to help them start the day will give them great comfort.
Your work is not just about physical health and safety. Interestingly enough, studies indicate that the aging brain can still learn new habits. The challenge for the aging brain, it turns out, is shutting out all the unnecessary information we receive on a daily basis.
Caregivers relationship with their clients are about more than maintaining the status quo. Your clients can rely on you to help them learn and stabilize new habits and processes, increasing brain plasticity and helping them maintain cognitive function.
A great deal of your work as a caregiver will likely include observation of your clients. By spending dedicated time with your clients and focusing on their existing abilities, you can help monitor any decline they experience and get it to the attention of their family and physician. You can also be on hand and assist your clients in regaining physical strength lost due to injury or illness. Finally, you can be a dependable force in their lives, helping them to build new habits.