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  • Writer's pictureGaynor Lowndes

Your Role As A Caregiver

As a caregiver, you might spend anything from one month to 20 years or even more with a client, depending on the length of time you are needed and the situation of your client. In addition to providing physical care for your clients, your role as a care giver has many other dimensions. You are a nurse, but also a psychologist; a role model but also a servant. One of

the most challenging aspects of your role relates to behaviour – yours and your client’s – and it is important that you take this aspect of your role seriously if you want to succeed.

Handling behavior Remember that your client faces many challenges and often, those problems translate into unwelcome behaviour. Your role is to show empathy and understanding. Understanding your client requires taking the time to study them. When you proceed from the point of understanding them, you are far more likely to help them change unwelcome behavior. Not only will you be doing something that greatly benefits your client, you will also be doing something that is beneficial to you in your role, and that is creating a conducive working environment.

Bear in mind also that your client might not be the only one with a behavioural problem. Try to analyze your own behavior to identify areas in which you might be exacerbating the problem. That is the best way to deal with the two sides to achieve harmony.

Prioritising If you give divided attention as a caregiver, ​you put yourself at risk of creating problems for yourself in your caregiving career. Your caregiving role requires your undivided attention, as your client has very special needs which may require more time than the average person. To make things easier for yourself and prevent you from losing your patience or becoming frustrated, ensure that you learn how to leave aside personal stuff and prioritise. When you prioritise, you are far more likely to pay close attention to one thing at a time, and in this case, caring for your client ought to be your priority. 

Avoiding a ‘boss’ mentality As a caregiver, your role does not include being the boss. Bosses expect to give orders and be listened to; a caregiver on the other hand should listen to and be led by the needs of their clients. The key to succeeding in your role is humility. With a humble manner and attitude, you have set yourself up for success. Learn to listen to your client in a humble manner without interrupting whether they are right or wrong, and answer their questions as professionally and courteously as possible, however unnecessary you feel the question may be. Be quick to offer apologies when you offend, however unintentional the offence. Not only will the right attitude curb any problems, it will put you in a good light with the client and their family members, who would be more inclined to give you good recommendations and HomeCare more business.

Planning Planning is a key aspect of your role. Whatever goes on in your client’s life, you need to plan for it and help them plan for it too. In fact, right from the beginning of working with your client, you need to start with a plan – a plan that puts you in the position to know your client. Start by doing your best to discover from them or their families what makes your client happy.

What are the things they like? What are the things that make them angry? With this knowledge, you can carve out a care plan that incorporates what you learn about the needs, wants and the dislikes of your client. Following a roadmap means that you will be able to address both the physical and emotional needs of your clients. In doing so, you put yourself on a good path to excelling in your role and gaining job satisfaction.


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