April 18th, 2018 | BY: Allegra Chaney

Caregiver Experience: Opportunities for Teaching Moments

Dear Allegra:

As a fairly new professional caregiver, I am finding my new career to be more rewarding than I ever imagined. Most of my clients are older adults living with a variety of chronic health conditions. Many of them have recently been discharged from a local hospital and are transitioning back home.

I am learning so many valuable life lessons from my clients and their families. The experience is giving me such good perspective, and helping me learn more about setting priorities.

I would like to make sure my clients and their families find their time with me to be just as rewarding. One of my goals is to look for teachable moments where I can help educate them.

As a caregiver, I think I can help empower my clients and their families to take an active role in their health and well-being. I am just not sure how to get started.

Do you have any suggestions?

Kindly,

Alicia

Caregiver Experience Helps Empower Seniors and Families

Dear Alicia:
What a good question to ask us! It is nice to hear from a new caregiver who is so clearly enjoying the profession.

I would suggest you approach this one client at a time. Think about each client’s unique situation:

  • What type of health condition were they hospitalized for?
  • Is their goal to rehab back to their pre-hospital lifestyle?
  • Who from the family is involved in their care, and what are their strengths and weaknesses?
  • What issues are the client and their family struggling most with?
  • How safe is their environment?

Next, think about how you can help based on what you know about your client. For example, you can show the client and their family how to master tasks such as bathing and grooming a senior in a manner that protects their dignity or how to change an adult brief. This can allow the client’s family to feel confident in their abilities during the times you can’t be there to assist.

As a professional caregiver, you can also connect the client and their family with valuable information and resources that pertain to their disease or health condition.

  • Educational resources: Griswold Home Care created a Resources page to help families quickly connect with tools and information they need to be successful in supporting a loved one at home. Topics range from how to sleep better to low vision, diabetes, nutrition, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease.
  • Safety concerns: Adult children often worry about a senior loved one’s home safety. You can help by providing families with resources to assess the home for potential hazards. Bathroom safety is often the number one concern.
  • Fall Prevention Resources: Falls remain the leading cause of disability and loss of life among older adults. You can connect clients and their families with resources to objectively evaluate their environment for potential fall risks.

I hope these tips are helpful, Alicia. Remember, as you gain experience, it will become second nature for you to identify opportunities for teachable moments that families will appreciate.

Thank you for contacting us, Alicia. Best of luck to you in your new career as a caregiver!

Kind regards,

Allegra