Now that you have been hired as a personal caregiver for a senior citizen, you may wonder what you have gotten yourself into. After all, you have never been fully responsible for another person's health and well-being. However, you cannot allow your anxieties and uncertainty prevent you from learning how to perform your new job duties to the best of your abilities.
Success in your new job will require a combination of technical and interpersonal skills. While the technical skills can be easily taught in classes and training, the necessary interpersonal skills that allow you to properly perform your technical duties are something you need to develop primarily on your own. Here is what you need to know to ensure success in your new senior care career.
Arguing Is Futile
When it comes to interacting with your new client, the first thing you need to learn is that engaging in any kind of argument or confrontation with them is entirely futile. Nothing good can come of it.
Senior citizens often have what are colloquially known as "senior moments." In other words, they can be forgetful. Their short-term memory sometimes fails them, and they get confused or disoriented easily. So, when the lady you work with forgets where she left her wallet and accuses you of taking it or moving it, do not take it personally. And, as much as you would like to, do not argue with her to defend yourself.
In their eyes, this will make you seem overly defensive (aka guilty), and combative. If they have a cantankerous attitude towards you (or feel that you have one towards them), then working together to perform necessary daily tasks will be all but impossible. So, instead of arguing, start with an apology. This does not mean you admit guilt for something you didn't do, but instead means acknowledging their frustration.
Tell them you are sorry that they cannot find their lost item and offer to help them look for it. Divert their attention to solving the problem, rather than throwing accusations back and forth. This is far more productive and cooperative.
Work With, Not For
This is another important concept in understanding the interpersonal and technical aspects of your job as caregiver. When you perform your basic caregiver duties, you want to make sure you are not taking over when you could simply assist.
For example, if you are there to help your client get dressed, do not just take the clothes out of their hands and start putting them on for your client. Instead allow your client to go about the task of dressing themselves and assist when needed. If they can get their shirt on but cannot button them up, then assist with the buttoning, but let them do the rest on their own.
You are there to supplement with their daily living tasks. By coming in and taking over, you will take away your client's self-efficacy and independence. This is the opposite of what caregivers should be doing.
If you keep these key factors in mind when you start your new job as a caregiver for a senior citizen through a company like Quality Home Staffing Inc. Home Care Agency, you will find yourself ready to handle whatever else comes at you. These interpersonal skills will help guide you to build a good working relationship with your client as you improve and develop your newly-learned technical skillsShare
5 November 2014
After watching my mother navigate treatment for breast cancer in my early teens, I knew pretty much what to expect from my dad's diagnosis with prostate cancer. What I didn't know was how different chemotherapy and radiation can affect different people. My mother became very ill while my dad seemed to weather the treatments with few ill effects. I spent a long time researching the differences in treatments, types of chemotherapy, and how each one can react differently with the body. I created this blog to help others understand the same things, because I knew I couldn't be the only one unfamiliar with it. I hope it helps you if someone you love is facing treatment for any type of cancer.