When you google “what is caregiving” this is what you see:
relating to the activity or profession of regularly looking after a child or a sick, elderly, or disabled person.”
But caregiving is so much more than just looking after another person. You help provide a comfortable and safe space for them. Though it’s not always easy and just like with every job it comes with a few downsides, it’s one of the most fulfilling professions in today’s fast-paced world.
In this article we’re going to focus more specifically on caregiving for the elderly.
The first thing you need to know about caregiving and what it entitles, is that as a caregiver you need endless patience, compassion and positivity. Most of the time the elders they will be taking care of live alone and/or are suffering from some kind of ailment. Not only will their caregivers need to assist them with daily activities but also to provide them with pleasant company and uplift their spirits.
Some daily tasks caregivers can expect to be doing are:
- Providing transport
- Meal preparation and cooking
- Light housekeeping
- Helping with personal care
- Assisting with medical needs
- Providing companionship
Generally speaking there is much routine involved in a caregiver’s daily life. However, they must be able to expect the unexpected as an accident or an episode (if the elder is suffering from an illness like dementia) can happen at any time. As such, caregivers need to be able to act fast and make informed decisions under pressure.
Caregiving can be divided into two categories.
Families would choose this option for their senior when they don’t live nearby and/or aren’t able to look after them. The caregiver would then reside full-time with the senior and be available to them 24/7. This is the most popular choice of caregiving since the families can rest assured that someone is always there should their senior need help. Also, caregivers are medically trained regarding first aid and to treat various illnesses. This is most likely something that family caregivers are not. So by hiring a live-in caregiver they know that their seniors are in safe hands.
If the senior doesn’t have a serious illness, or the family is able to look after them for most of the time, they would opt for this. The caregiver would then only look after the senior for a certain period of time – discussed with the family beforehand. They could agree on the caregiver staying during the week or the weekends or only during the day or night. It would depend on the family’s and senior’s needs.
Caregivers who are willing to work on a live-in basis have to understand that they will have very little free time. Their first priority will become their patient, the senior. Likewise, the senior will want to trust that the caregiver have them and their best interests on their mind and in their hearts. A special kind of bond is forged between a live-in caregiver and the senior.
Caregiving is an exceptional profession where you have the chance to make another life happier and easier. You carry plenty of responsibility and at times it could get overwhelming but, in general, it truly is one of the most fulfilling professions.
If you are an experienced caregiver or interested in becoming one, have a look at our current open positions here.