Being an assisted living caregiver is not the easy job you may think it is. Aiding elderly residents in their day to day activities while providing a positive attitude and allowing them to maintain their independence is hard work. It is also important work, so making sure you are set up for the job will help both you and the residents with whom you work.
As an assisted living caregiver, your job centers around assisting residents with their daily activities. This can be as simple as helping them brush their teeth or comb their hair, or as complicated as bathing or feeding them. Each resident has their own level of independence, and it is your job as their caregiver to ensure that level is not being disregarded. It is important to both the resident and your job to help them maintain that level of independence.
You will also be required to assist residents in any daily activities they need to be ready to take on the day. Personal hygiene, room cleanliness, bathroom visits, and other daily tasks you may take for granted are not guaranteed for our residents unless the caregivers provide them. Always remember that these are people you are assisting and treat them as such.
Other daily care can include assisting residents in planned activities from day to day, preparing them for meals, and providing emotional support when needed. Keeping accurate records of patient care is also incredibly important. Since caregivers work in shifts, having the correct records for a resident can make the difference between a huge mistake and excellent care.
Being a caregiver is not only assisting with daily tasks. It also includes assisting the residents emotionally. For many residents, growing older and losing some of their independence is a blow to their self-esteem or sense of self. They may also miss their family or friends whom they no longer see on a regular basis. As the caregiver, it falls on you to make sure you are providing the residents with emotional support too.
A caregiver should be compassionate. Compassion not only helps the residents continue to feel like people, but it can also help the caregiver make it through the difficult emotional parts of the job as well. Being able to maintain composure through upsetting or embarrassing situations is also a key skill for caregivers to hone. A slip of your composure at the wrong moment can make a bad situation even worse. This means that having patience can also make a difference. building your patience can give you the extra push you need to get through a difficult situation with a resident in a professional and compassionate way.
On top of everything else, having a sense of humor and a creative mind are also boons to the caregiver and resident. The ability to laugh about life with your residents will get you both through a lot of situations you may otherwise see no way out of. Humor and creativity can sometimes be the difference needed to diffuse a tough situation with a resident. At the end of the day, the residents are people too, and they just want to be treated as such.
Being an assisted living caregiver is an incredibly rewarding job. The right people can take care of our residents and give them the quality of life they deserve. It is not easy work, but it is important work. We count on our caregivers to provide physical and emotional support each and every day so our residents can continue to feel like the valued members of society they are!