One of the best parts about owning a home care agency is having the opportunity to learn from the members of our team about their motivation for becoming a caregiver and their view of what exactly it means to provide CARE.
I have thought this month about the importance of making the distinction between care and caring with my caregivers and share our values and the approach we want our team to bring to the home. When we talk about care we are referring to the meeting the client’s physical and basic needs, whereas caring refers to more of the humanistic, emotional needs. Oftentimes a family calls on a caregiver to provide the care component, while the daughter, son, spouse will provide the caring. What would that look like? An Assisting hands caregiver might come to transfer, bathe, and dress the client, while her husband gets a breathe of fresh air. When he comes home, he can return with a new energy and spirit to hold his wife’s hands and talk to her about how she’s feeling and the day’s activities.
The buzz these days is around the lack of caring in the medical field. That is, the focus is on curing diseases and less on comfort and compassion. At our Assisting Hands office, the value we instill in our caregivers in that care is our first and primary job to allow caring to occur. In our role, that means that it is our job to be reliable, consistent, capable, and hardworking, before we can put the icing on the cake to develop a caring relationship with our client or give the family space to do so for their loved one. Sometimes caring for someone doesn’t always mean a sweet smile (although that’s nice too) and flowers or candy, but it DOES mean showing up even when it’s inconvenient, trudging through the snow in winter so your client has a warm meal for the day, and doing the right thing when it’s not always easy.
That being said, the caring component is what comes naturally to our caregivers. What does this look like? Talking directly to the client, rather than only addressing a family member. Caring for someone brings the ………
How do you know when your non-verbal dementia patient needs something or is uncomfortable?
Look at her face, her expression.
What has your background taught you about care and caring? Which one do you believe is your primary responsibility as a family member or caregiver?
“To be cared for by others, to need caring, remains a permanent part of the human condition.”
“There is no going back to normality, and even rehabilitation is a lost dream. Here is where caring really matters: when nothing that is thought of as the fruit of modern medicine can be applied with any success. Only direct physical help, the constant presence of another, and the steady nourishment of empathy will suffice to help the patient make it through life.”