No doubt we’re all aware that, as our country grows older, the state of many minds, even great ones, begin to deteriorate. We notice loved ones become more forgetful and less able to care for themselves. Try as we may to help them, at times we find ourselves becoming angry at the situation. It’s at this stage that one must consider whether hiring a caregiver (if only for a few hours a day) might be the medicine you need in order to remain healthy and sane. Caregivers, therefore, may be just the shot in the arm you need in order to allow quality time for yourself.
I personally know the importance of the freedom and stress-free feeling one has when they have the right caregiver in place. I have volunteered in the past as a “caregiver” to the elderly. These were people that primarily just needed conversation and companionship. The families that brought me in were relieved that they could trust me to give tender loving care to their loved one, while they took a 3-4 hour break. Your health is equally as important as your loved ones, so time for yourself is vital. It reenergizes you to have the ability to care for your loved ones better by having an effective attitude, more peace of mind, and to continue to live your life as well.
As you seek the perfect match for your aging parents or loved ones, in addition to having the requisite medical knowledge needed for clients’ basic needs (from simple pill-dispensing to the ability to dial 911 or stopping a nosebleed), caregivers should possess personality traits that fit a client’s basic needs. Telling clean jokes may provide just the boost the client needs at a specific time, and smiles or touches almost always smooth over bad situations. I’ve taught some of the elderly Visibly Fit™ exercises that they could perform to gain or maintain strength or I’ve gone on walks with them around the neighborhood or through parks. Persons with like personalities with patience work best, and an absence of stress is always greatly preferred. The idea is that the client’s health and happiness are the caregivers main focus at all times.
The following offer a few workable caregiver/client matches:
*Typically, the best caregivers possess helper/supporter personalities which they use often, even when away from the client.
*Outstanding caregivers generally have a gift for communicating with others. Some clients, however, prefer to do all the talking. In such a case, do your best to listen well before interjecting, which could cause them to forget what they were going to say.
*Empathy works wonders. Caregivers should consider what it would look like to them in a similar situation in order to attempt to understand their situation or source of anger.
*Be patient with clients, and remember that their anger is not aimed at you as much as it is with his/her situation.
Whether you are looking for a caregiver or the opportunity to be one, it’s rewarding on both sides when the right person is in place. Take the time needed to interview your caregiver and/or your client for an ideal outcome.