Aug 25, 2016 by Chris Gamble
Being an in home caregiver can be one of the most rewarding things that a person can do with their lives, but it can also be one of the most emotionally taxing, so you shouldn’t jump into it without some real thought. If you’re not mentally and physically prepared to perform the task of looking over another human life, then you might not be the person for the job. Here are five skills you’ll master by becoming an in home caregiver.
Looking after someone who can’t look after themselves can be difficult. They’ll have times when they’re frustrated and you’ll have times when you’re frustrated. Seniors in need of in home care are oftentimes people experiencing Alzheimer’s or Dementia, and seeing someone go through that process is taxing. You’ll have to learn to be patient with someone on an entirely new level, and you must be able to put your own emotions aside while they going through that process.
Being able to communicate clearly with someone in an altered mental state is incredibly important to being a successful in home caregiver. By providing your senior an outlet, and an ear, you’re giving someone a gift that not many people give to seniors. Communicating clearly with them on their own level is incredibly important to making the relationship work.
Not only do seniors need to be communicated with clearly, they also need to know that you’re going to be able to lend them an ear when they need to vent. Whether it’s recalling old memories, or they’re expressing their frustration over not being able to remember something, they need for someone to listen. Loneliness is one of the main causes of Alzheimer’s and dementia, so you need to make sure that you’re giving them the emotional outlet to remain healthy in your care.
Since your senior isn’t going to be able to go to the doctor every day, you’re going to be one of the first people with the opportunity to see symptoms of disease. You need to ask yourself if your senior is displaying any strange behavior at any given time. Ensuring that their doctor knows everything about their daily lives helps them provide higher levels of care as well.
When you’re taking care of a senior, are you the type of person that’s going to be willing to stay late in case your next shift is running late? Many seniors can’t be left alone, so you need to be flexible and stay with them in case this happens. Anything can happen if a senior is left alone, so make sure that you’re doing the right thing and staying with them until backup comes. It could be what they need to survive.
If you want to become an in home caregiver, you have to ask yourself if you’re the type of person that’s willing to go the extra mile for your senior. Is the answer to that question yes? Are you willing to be alert, flexible, patient, listen, and be a great communicator? If so, then you’re ready to look after a senior, which could end up being one of the most rewarding things that you’ve ever done.