For most of our clients, home care is a brand new experience. Many ask about what hours are best or what exactly our caregivers do during the time they spend with your family. Here, we asked our lead caregiver, Allison, to write a bit about a day in the life of an Assisting Hands Caregiver.
Here’s Allison with her take on a “typical” day!
At Assisting Hands our clients’ life situations and needs are as different as our unique clients themselves.
As caregivers, that’s what makes our jobs exciting and challenging. We are adaptive to our clients’ personalities and evolving needs, and we are even adaptive day-to-day with what that day might bring! Even with those clients who have set-in-stone schedules, unexpected challenges can, and do, arise and we are ready to react.
Our clients’ families are often, understandably, curious about what we do all day with our clients. So here’s the scoop! A typical day in the life as a caregiver at Assisting Hands for 3 different kinds of cases. This week we’ll start with a 4-hour companion case to give you a taste of our most basic level or service. Next week we will feature a different example of the services we provide.
4-Hour Companion Case
Lives Alone/Needs Help Driving
Our first example is one of our most common kinds of cases, Betty B. Betty B. lives alone and is able to take care of herself on days when I am not there, however she does not drive anymore.
In the home care industry we would say that Betty B. can accomplish all of her ADLs or Activities of Daily Living. Betty B. is able to move around her home, she eats three meals a day, she can get in and out of the bathroom, and she is able to bathe and get ready every morning without my help.
Grocery Store, Hair Salon, Lunch, Laundry
The things Betty B may need the most help with are her IADLs or Instrumental Activities of Daily Living. She doesn’t drive anymore so I can take her out to the grocery store and to the hair salon. She often eats microwave meals so I can help her cook a meal and clean the dishes on the days I am there. She needs help around the house with cleaning and laundry.
Services 2-3 Times/Week
Often, our clients start out like Betty B. They may have service 2 or 3 times per week and they get to know one or two of our caregivers and even our administrative staff. They adjust to the idea of having someone around when they may have become accustomed to living alone for many years. They also adjust to the idea that they can accept help, it’s a good thing! As Betty B’s needs increase they may increase care with us and the transition is smooth because they are accustomed to having a happy, helpful caregiver around.
Here is one of my days with Betty B:
8:00 AM – 9:00 AM
Betty B. is getting ready for the day, bathing and dressing, and I am there on stand-by, just in case. That is an important part of my day. I may not be physically helping Betty B. at the moment, but I am watchful and aware, to see if there is some change so I can make sure that she is safe and I can keep her family aware of her situation. On laundry days, I may get started by getting her sheets in the washing machine.
9:00 AM – 10:00 AM
Betty B and I catch up as she has her breakfast. She is usually fine just pouring a bowl of cereal herself. She may want to tell me what is happening with her grandchildren. I am happy to share some not-too-personal details about what is happening with me. I may tell her about a movie I saw over the weekend. I help her clean the dishes, sometimes she insists on cleaning them herself while I wipe the counter. We may sit down and watch TV so that Betty B. can rest before we go out.
10:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Betty B. and I go out to the bank and the grocery store. I help her in and out of the car and pull out her walker at each stop. We chat about the weather, and I help her make decisions at the store.
11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
We get back home and Betty B. may need help putting her groceries away. She may want to rest for a little bit and turn on the TV. We chat a bit and I run the vacuum around. A big part of being with Betty B. is providing companionship. I certainly help her out with a wide variety of IADLs depending on what the day or week calls for, but I also provide some company, and we may have some down-time in a 4 hour shift. One of the most important things I provide is some relief for Betty B’s family that she has another pair of eyes to see when Betty B. does need some extra help.
Well, that’s quite a lot of a short 4 hour day! Next week we’ll feature another typical case from a caregiver who has a longer day with her client.
Do you think a caregiver like Allison may be able to help you or another family member with similar activities? Give us a call at 847-462-4402 to learn more! We can also provide free consultations.