I’m a Caregiver. What’s Kind of Superhero Are You?
Not all heroes wear capes — some are hiding in plain sight as home caregivers. Tasks that make most people squeamish are ones that caregivers quickly get accustomed to. This is why caregiving is typically referred to as a vocation and not just a job. Changing briefs, inserting feeding tubes, cleaning bed sores, and bandaging wounds are not for the faint of heart. Plus, how many times at the end of the day have you realized that you have almost every bodily fluid imaginable stained on your clothes? For the average person, these tasks are a big ask, but for home caregivers, it’s par for the course.
Facing out of the ordinary challenges on a daily basis builds a resilience in caregivers that tends to be above the norm. There are also several other skills required for providing quality home care services that get fine-tuned over a caregiver’s career. Empathy and compassion are big ones, as are communication skills and emergency response. All of these skills become embedded overtime in a caregiver’s persona, so that they get applied to everyday life and not just within the caregiving environment. Essentially, a caregiver becomes a type of superhero, with a whole repertoire of superpowers that make them exceptional human beings.
5 Caregiver Superpowers
There are many qualities that make caregivers special and give them an extra edge for everyday life. The following caregiver superpowers are a few of our favorites. Let us know your own favorites on Facebook or Twitter. We’d love to hear about them!
According to the Family Caregiver Alliance, 70% of caregivers say they turn to friends and family members for information, care, or support compared with 54% of non-caregivers who do the same. Statistics like this demonstrate that caregivers understand the importance of self-care and seeking support better than the average person. This is most likely due to self-care being an important cornerstone for providing home care services. Caregiver burnout and compassion fatigue can be real challenges, so home caregivers take precautions to prevent these conditions from occurring. Learning self-care skills better equip caregivers to handle challenging life situations, such as how to cope during times of loss and stress.
If there is one quality home caregiving surely requires, it’s patience. Caring for seniors, people with disabilities, or people who are recovering from illness means moving slowly and understanding that certain tasks will take longer than usual. There are also learning curves when working with new clients or people who have illnesses such as dementia. Honing the skill of patience means it can be applied to non-caregiving situations. Circumstances, such as waiting in line, that many people quickly become frustrated with are nothing compared to what home caregivers deal with everyday. The benefits for caregivers are less stress and frustration and a better understanding of how to be calm and grounded.
A study published in the Journal of Neuroscience found that the more time participants spent thinking empathically, the more sensitive they became to others. Caregivers think empathically on a regular basis, as empathy and compassion are major requirements for connecting with clients, being able to problem solve, and providing quality home care services. Having this skill set not only benefits a caregiver’s relationship with their clients, but with other people in their life, as well. This means that friendships, ties with family members, and partnerships can be extra strong for caregivers due to their empathy and ability to relate to others.
One method of resiliency training involves the administration of small, repeated challenges to train people and society to exercise their capacity for adaptation. In a way, caregivers are undergoing resiliency training every time they provide home care services. Since caregiving involves caring for vulnerable people and oftentimes in challenging situations, caregivers learn how to build resilience to stress and trauma. This resilience is then naturally used in everyday challenges and occurrences, meaning that caregivers are better equipped to handle tough circumstances than most.
5. Emergency Response
Quick thinking and problem solving are necessary tools for caregivers to have on hand. Home caregivers receive training such as First Aid and CPR in order to provide adequate care for their clients. The ability to do the best thing in an emergency situation is a kind of superpower that can even save lives. Most jobs don’t require emergency response or First Aid training, but caregivers learn these skills and more. In addition to having these qualifications, caregivers also have to apply them to real life situations. This is especially the case for caregivers with clients who have life threatening illnesses or self-injurious behaviors. Outside of the caregiving environment, caregivers retain these skills and can put them into use if emergency situations arise.
Providing Quality Home Care Services
In order to provide the best home care services, caregivers essentially need to become real life superheroes. Caregiving requires an above-and-beyond mentality that involves quick thinking, sharp problem solving skills, and an abundance of compassion. As challenging as caregiving can be, the benefits are more than rewarding. If you have questions or are interested in becoming a home caregiver, please reach out to Alegre Home Care at one of our Northern California locations.
Are you looking for home care services for yourself or a loved one? Alegre Home Care provides high quality home care by employing, training, and supervising select caregivers. Our caregivers will attend to you with compassion, respect, and understanding. Click here to learn more.