A Day in the Life of a Caregiver
As the general, worldwide trend is for people to live longer, caregivers are playing an increasingly vital role in our society. In-home aides provide assistance and ensure the well-being of their clients. They can have a dramatic impact on the families and individuals they help serve. Many of those drawn to a career as a caregiver have an innate desire to help others, and few roles offer such a big opportunity to make a real and ongoing difference.
Caregivers lend a helping, supportive hand to the elderly, those with disabilities, and others in need of assistance. In this way, they have played an important role in raising the quality of life for countless people.
Morning—Time to Start the Day Right
When caring for older adults, it’s critical to first learn what, precisely, their needs are, and then determine an appropriate schedule to match up to those needs. Naturally, routines may vary. While most clients will be early birds and want to wake up with the sun, others will be night owls and want to sleep in late.
The best home care organizations match clients and caregivers who are a good fit for each other. In the above scenarios, that would mean matching early rising caregivers with early rising clients, and so forth. Regardless of when the day “begins” caregivers are always instrumental in helping folks get their day started and moving in a positive direction.
For breakfast, in-home aides can prepare nutritious and tasty meals. Older adults often enjoy lighter breakfasts, but as always, open and honest communication is the key to understanding their preferences. Caregivers can also help individuals take their prescribed medications on time, and in a manner that is well organized. Clients might also need assistance with basic hygiene, such as brushing their teeth or combing their hair.
Some days, a client might need to see a doctor, dentist, or legal or financial advisors. Caregivers can help by driving a client’s car, scheduling rideshares, or coordinating access to public transportation.
Regular exercise is also an important need for the elderly. Walking, or participating in any light cardio activity, can help improve an individual’s health and well-being. A caregiver can be a great motivator in helping clients achieve these simple but important goals.
Afternoon—Lunch, Midday Tasks, and Daily Living
Properly trained in-home aides can help their clients develop, or stick to, a healthy diet. The elderly typically have different nutritional needs than people in their youth. Of course, diet restrictions and requirements will vary widely, so it’s important to collaborate closely with families, medical practitioners, and clients. Caregivers can also ensure that religious or other meal requirements are met—whether that be kosher, halal, or vegetarian or vegan fare. Lunch is also a great time for the client and caregiver to plan out their day.
If the client has errands to run—to the grocery store, to the pharmacy, or to visit with friends—the early afternoon is often a good time. Caregivers might also take clients to houses of worship. As the day wears on, many seniors will want to rest by taking a nap, or simply settling down with a book or a show on television. This is also a good time for the caregiver to help with chores around the house.
Evening—Dinner, and Time to Wind Down
For elderly folks, the dinner hour is typically in the late afternoon, rather than at night. Once again, communication is key, so caregivers will want to tailor their routine to the unique requirements of their client. Ideally, the in-home aide will prepare a healthy and delicious dinner, then finish up with evening house chores, such as washing the dishes or doing laundry.
The caregiver can also help the client take prescribed medications, brush their teeth, go to the bathroom, and otherwise prepare for bed. It is not uncommon for clients to need assistance with getting into bed, or with gathering what they need for a comfortable night’s sleep, once in bed.
The caregiver should make sure that doors are locked, appliances are turned off, nightlights are functioning, and that everything in the home is in its proper place. The biggest danger is that of nighttime falls, so caregivers should be especially vigilant for tripping hazards.
Finally, aides often keep notes about client’s likes/dislikes, meal preferences, schedules, and other helpful insights. These can be shared with the family, or another caregiver who might also be helping the client.
Becoming a Caregiver
A day in the life of a caretaker is varied, busy, and all about care. If you’re looking for a rewarding, impactful career—working as a caregiver may be the perfect fit. Further, if you want to work with an organization that truly values your talents and compassion, StarPoint Home Care is currently welcoming new applicants. Our team understands that our caregivers are literally and fundamentally who we are. StarPoint will help you through every step, as you begin this exciting journey. To view our open positions, or simply learn more about our philosophy, visit us online or give us a call today at 513-766-3339.