I’ve been a caregiver for 13 years now. I must admit, it’s not exactly the first career choice. How many kids do you hear running up to their mum saying, “Mommy, I wanna grow up to be a Caregiver”? You don’t. It just doesn’t happen. Yet, caregiving just happens.
It’s something you grow into; a role that molds you. In my experience, I’ve interacted with and assisted a few hundreds of seniors. And all of it has taught me a simple thing: humility. These people, most of them, have spent all their lives working hard. Now they suddenly feel the need to depend on another human being for the most menial task.
Driving is not an option anymore because of their eyesight. Hosting lunches for friends is difficult. Preparing a meal is an arduous task. Diabetes. Arthritis. Blood pressure fluctuations. These restrictions are difficult to handle. So, the process of homecare needs to be a smooth transition. The key is to let them feel in control.
Most of the time, the success and failure of hiring a senior home care agency depend primarily on the caregiver. Does she/he have the capacity, patience, compassion to deal with the senior? It is our role, as caregivers to look into the need and comfort of the elderly. We don’t just perform the job blindly, but rather act as a companion. We reach out to them, let them feel secure, converse with them and connect with them on a personal level.
They like reading? What kind of books? What is their all-time favorite? Do you like for me to read to you? How many kids do they have? Tell me about them. The food has to be prepared with the right content. Walks have to be monitored. Medication needs to be taken on time. Personal hygiene shouldn’t be neglected.
This, right there, is the basic difference between a ‘good’ caregiver and a ‘great’ one. It’s about having compassion for the very people who had, at one time, managed their lives independently, and throughout the time, maintaining the highest levels of professionalism and ethics.