What is a caregiver?
A caregiver can be a professional paid worker or an informal unpaid family member. A caregiver’s primary role is to provide home care, companionship, and aid to those who are disabled or homebound.
Now, as a result of COVID-19, more people than ever find themselves homebound because they are considered high-risk. This means, more family members than ever find themselves having to act as informal caregivers.
So, for all the new caregivers out there: welcome to the community.
4 Tips to Help You on Your Caregiving Journey
1. Don’t be afraid to ask for help
Whether you have questions or just want an extra hand around the house- don’t be afraid to ask for help. If COVID-19 has taught us anything, it’s that we are all in this together. And, the least we can do is help each other out.
Don’t be shy or worried to ask for help from friends and family, or from professionals working at home care agencies.
2. Be mindful of the language you use
Words have tremendous power. What you say and how you say something can make a huge difference in your caregiving experience. Not just for you, but for your loved ones.
Rather than using accusatory phrases, use language that’s encouraging and productive. For instance:
I told you so can easily be turned into, “I was afraid this might happen, but that’s okay.”
You’re an adult- do it yourself can be rephrased to “Let me teach you how to use this thing so you can do it yourself in the future.”
I’m so tired of this can be said as “I’m feeling really exhausted today, I think it’s best if I go home early for a rest.”
Before getting upset that your senior can’t figure out how to use Zoom, or that your senior can’t do his or her own online grocery shopping, or even that your senior won’t stop chatting- take three deep breaths and choose your words wisely.
Yelling will only make your senior feel bad, and make you feel even worse later on.
3. Know: You don’t have to be perfect
If you don’t get it right the first time around (or even the second or third time), that’s okay!
Caregiving is a learning curve. At first, it will be hard and you’ll find yourself in positions where you’re just not so sure what the best course of action is. And, that’s alright. No one expects you to be perfect.
Make your best judgment call.
If it works, wonderful! If it doesn’t, you’ll get it the next time around.
Don’t place extra blame or shame on yourself when you’re already doing the best you can.
4. Set clear goals
When you’re providing care for someone else, it can sometimes feel like there’s always something more to do. And, the feeling of wanting to get everything done can lead to wearing yourself out while you pull late nights working and early mornings rushing around.
Instead, set clear goals for yourself. Choose three things to do each day. When you’ve finished those three things- relax and take a break!
If daily to-dos are not your style, try weekly or monthly. The key is to organize and prioritize what needs to get done while building time in your schedule to relax and rejuvenate.
Remember, your health and emotional wellbeing matters too.
Become a part of our succeeding home care agency today!
Whether you’re new to the home care field or looking for a new career opportunity, give us a call so we can welcome you into our agency home with open arms.
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Click here to apply with our easy, online application form.