Moving Elderly Parents Into Your Home: 5 Things You Should Know
April 20, 2016
7 Habits of Highly Effective Home Caregivers
June 13, 2016
Home caregiving is more than a job, it’s a vocation that requires a demanding repertoire of qualities. Home caregivers need to be understanding, patient, kind, and giving in all facets of their care. While rewarding, this means that home caregiving can cause burnout if caregivers do not manage their time and energy properly.
No one can give 100% of themselves all of the time, but there are certain habits caregivers can develop in order to perform at their best. These 7 habits of highly effective home caregivers will help you provide quality home care while also taking care of yourself:
Home caregivers need to be efficient multitaskers; they’re constantly switching their attention back and forth between one thing and another. Companionship, meal preparation, light housekeeping, medication reminders, personal care, and errands are just a few examples of the ways caregivers help people remain independent within their homes. Many of these tasks are quite meaningful to the people receiving the care.
In order to juggle home care tasks while maintaining a meaningful relationship with the clients, effective home caregivers adopt the habit of being efficient planners. Caregivers at Alegre Home Care, for example, work to develop customized care plans based on the needs of each individual client. Having a good care plan in place will help keep things organized and the quality of care optimized.
Home caregiving often involves more people than the caregiver and the client. Since the caregiving is done within a person’s home, there can also be family members, spouses, friends, and even pets involved. Rather than adopting a “go it on their own” mentality, highly effective caregivers practice collaborating with the people involved in their clients’ lives. Collaboration can help ease stress for caregivers and can also help the clients maintain and develop meaningful relationships with the people in their lives.
Home care agencies are another source of collaboration for home caregivers. Working with a home care agency provides caregivers with support, advice, and guidance. For instance, at Alegre Home Care, caregivers are supported by an experience care manager and office staff.
Good communication goes beyond sharing your own thoughts, opinions, and feelings. True communication also involves listening to and responding to the thoughts, opinions, and feelings of others. This is especially important in home caregiving situations, when the quality of people’s lives are in your hands.
Rather than being stubborn or being unable to admit mistakes, highly effective caregivers are in constant communication with their clients and are open to new ideas and perspectives. Establishing good communication will build trust, ease stress, and resolve conflicts more quickly.
4. Time Management
Having a good plan in place for caregiving is important, but any plan needs good time management skills in order to be carried out effectively. With home caregiving, time management is particularly important. Seniors and people with disabilities can have illnesses that require medication to be given at set times, can be more sensitive to changes in routine, and need to feel like the person providing their care is dependable and reliable.
Time management is about more than just showing up on time. It also requires prioritizing goals and understanding how much time should be allotted to each task. With caregiving, time management also requires understanding the pace that best suits each individual client; some clients might like to rush through their meals while others may like to take the time to eat slowly. Knowing how to handle your own time as well as the client’s time is an essential habit of highly effective home caregivers.
5. Having Empathy
Empathy is of the utmost importance in any caregiving situation. Many tasks can quickly become mundane, but this does not reduce their importance to the clients. Effective home caregiving necessitates constant reminders to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. This can be quite challenging to put into practice, but it makes all the difference in the world to the clients.
Empathy isn’t about caring for others as you’d like to be cared for yourself, but how each person would like to be cared for in their own individual way. Each client will have their owns sets of preferences and dislikes, which means caregivers need to have a deep level of empathy in order to provide effective care.
Highly effective home caregivers commit to ongoing education and training so that they can continually provide the best quality of care. Proper training is a very important aspect when providing home care services. Home care training includes but is not limited to:
proper lifting and transfer techniques
proper use of home medical equipment
First Aid and CPR
New techniques and medical advancements are being developed everyday. Staying on top of these developments allows home caregivers to provide the best care possible to their clients.
Sometimes home caregivers spend so much time caring for other people that they forget to care for themselves. This is one of the main causes of caregiver burnout. Caregiving can be demanding physically, emotionally, and mentally. In order to be truly effective as a home caregiver, it helps to take care of yourself.
Self-care includes eating a healthy and balanced diet and ensuring that you regularly get a good night’s sleep. It also means leaning on loved ones for support when caregiving becomes emotionally stressful. Regular exercise and even small breaks to practice breathing exercises or meditation throughout the day can be highly beneficial. Highly effective home caregivers always make sure to take good care of themselves so that they can take good care of others.