What is Caregiving?
Caregiving can be defined as everything done physically and emotionally to assist a friend/relative/client due to that person’s illness or disability. Incorporated also, is the care and well-being of the caregivers themselves. A caregiver may be a paid or unpaid individual like spouse, sibling, child, or other loved one of an individual with a chronic/terminal illness or any disability.
Almost all caregivers, including family caregivers, agrees that the role is very demanding, with the responsibilities and expectations extremely high. Some caregivers say they lose their sense of privacy on the job. Care giving can be challenging both on someone’s psychological and physical well-being. However, while being a live-in caregiver is quite challenging, being a support system for someone who is unable to help themselves is rewarding as well.
The responsibilities of a caregiver are quite enormous and they change as the client’s dependency level and interest in activities changes. There are a variety of challenges caregivers encounter, including financial, health/physical, and emotional. The caregiver is often the health-care advocate for their client, managing medication scheduling and assisting with daily care, like hygiene and getting dressed. In addition, the caregiver provides emotional support as they deal with everyday mood swings from their clients. It is important to note that caregivers often deal with a lot of stress as well as risk of physical injuries due to the demands of their role.
Qualities of a caregiver
Caregivers are responsible for the care and well-being of others. Most people who go into this field are known for their sensitivity, their giving nature and their nurturing desire to help those in need. Caregiving typically entails responsibilities such as bathing, dressing, feeding and overseeing the safety and emotional needs of their client. A caregiver can work in childcare positions, while others focus on geriatric home care or medical recovery.
Most medical careers must be able to exhibit some care-giving component, even though the type of training that is necessary varies. Listed below are some of the features;
One of the best qualities a caregiver can have is a sense of empathy for those being cared for. Whether you’re caring for a small child or helping an elderly person recover from surgery, a sense of personal understanding and connection is vital. Good caregivers understand their clients may feel vulnerable, scared, confused and uncomfortable, and being able to identify and allay these fears can create a sense of calm and trust for those being cared for.
Reliability is a vital trait in a caregiver. People receiving care come to rely on and depend upon their caregivers and often feel a sense of personal attachment. Caregivers must continually be on time in all responsibilities.
People receiving care typically lack the ability to be fully independent and self-sufficient, which can lead to frustration and lashing out. Whether it’s a child who can’t express his hunger or pain verbally or a paralyzed house-bound individual who feels trapped and out-of-control, patience is vital to the role of caregiver. You must be able to separate yourself from potential anger and resentment and not take the situation personally, while still providing high-quality care.
Having realistic expectations about what an individual under your care is capable of can help you provide individualized and appropriate care. Because people being cared for often take longer than usual to complete simple tasks or routines, understanding their limitations can help reduce tension in the environment.
Caregivers often deal with bodily fluids, wound care, bathing and other personal hygiene routines of their client. A good caregiver does not shy away from delicate situations and works to help those they care for retain a sense of dignity. A caregiver never shames her clients for uncontrollable body functions, regardless of age or circumstance.
Good caregivers know how to calm and sooth their client. People in care-giving situations must often be prompted to eat, drink and cooperate to some degree in their own care. Being a voice of encouragement is a good quality for a caregiver, as is the ability to calm and reassure those being cared for.
Roles of a Caregiver
Although a caregiver’s work varies with different sets of duties each day and can be individualized. There are some basic tasks that remain the same when caring for a client and most especially the elderly. Below are some of the core duties of a caregiver
1. Assess medical needs
2. Medical reporting and documentation
3. Assist with basic needs which could include: bathing, grooming and toileting.
6. Monitoring medications with timely usage
7. Monitors client performance
8. Prepare a care plan that addresses client’s strengths and weaknesses
9. Prepare meals
10. Transfer (i.e. from bed to wheelchair and back)
These duties are essential care giving duties, but it’s also important to remember to adjust them as necessary for the client that you’re caring for. Research has shown that as disease or dependency level progresses, the strain on the caregiver also increases. While a caregiver is generally focused on providing assistance and support, he/she also needs support to help cope with the additional responsibilities and stress. Below are some tips;
Taking time away from care giving duties
Maintaining social connections
Asking for help from others
At PCA we save you the troubles of looking for good and competent caregivers at an affordable price. We also can help train your caregiver if you already have one. Just call PCA, we are always there to help care for loved ones and family.
We are also the best physiotherapy clinic in Lagos.