Have you ever wondered what it’s really like to be a caregiver? Have you ever asked yourself, what does my caregiver do with my mother/grandfather/sister/wife etc. all afternoon? I’m Allison, Lead caregiver at Assisting Hands of Arlington Heights, here to answer your questions!
A Day in the Life of Our Caregivers
For us as caregivers, our number one job, as simple as it sounds, is being there. Sometimes, that can mean doing our usual schedule of chores. We may prepare meals and clean dishes. We may vacuum and do a load of laundry. We may assist with personal care.
As caregivers, we love to pitch in, and we arrive at our seniors’ houses, ready to accomplish what needs to be done. For most of our clients, however, the care isn’t only a list of chores. Tasks are only a part of our day. For most of our day, the care is in the details.
Watching Over Our Clients
We have a watchful eye and we have a helping hand ready when needed. At my seniors’ houses I will check to see if there is enough food in the refrigerator; I will notice if the garbage needs to go out. Sometimes, everything is in order. I am simply that second pair of eyes for your family. Sometimes it is the seemingly smallest chore that will be the biggest help to my clients.
Changing a light bulb may be the work of a moment for me, but it is a load of worry off my client’s minds. Moving heavy objects, and getting things off of high shelves are things we may take for granted, and that don’t take much time, but my seniors appreciate the help with so much. I’m there, first and foremost, and I notice things and find ways to make my clients’ lives smooth and easy.
Trips to the Grocery Store
A wonderful example of providing care in the details as a caregiver, is taking our seniors to the grocery store.
For many of us, the grocery store is one of our many errands throughout the day or a quick chore after work, but for our clients, the grocery store may be the outing for the day! It’s their time to get out of the house and greet the world, and it takes some time and energy! Many of our clients need a ride to the store, but as a caregiver it’s about so much more than that! I’m there every step of the way.
I help my client walk to the car. Some of my clients hold onto my arm, and some of my clients prefer to walk by themselves, but either way, I am watching their steps, in case I do need to assist. I help my client get into the car and check that she is buckled in, or help her buckle in. At the store, she may need help finding items on the shelves. She may need help with the credit card chip reader when it comes time to pay.
Offering Help When Needed
All of the while I like to find a balance between allowing my senior to do things she can do on her own, and stepping in seamlessly and cheerfully when she might need help. “Here, let me grab a produce bag for you, I see them over there!”
Often, being there means being a listening ear. Things like scheduling a hair appointment or wanting to get a birthday card for a grandson can be big stressors.
Many of our wonderful seniors can be worriers! I like to offer suggestions or solve problems when I can, but many times I just listen and sympathize. My seniors may just need a little reassurance that everything is taken care of, and I’m happy to reassure them, even if I need to reassure them all afternoon. Honestly, that’s why I’m there!
Being Their Companion
Sometime being a listening ear is hearing my seniors’ stories and hearing about their lives. I like to sprinkle in interesting things about my life, too! My seniors love to hear about if I went out to a nice restaurant or saw a good movie. Sometimes, however, being there as a caregiver doesn’t mean talking at all.
We may watch TV for a little while, and I know laughing together at a commercial is all they need. Most of my clients have reached a point in their lives where they aren’t in any hurry, and they like having extra time to rest in between activities, so one trip to the grocery store or a few simple chores may be a whole afternoon! And as a caregiver, going at my client’s pace is a part of my job.
What I do is show up to my shift with an easy-going attitude, ready to observe and pitch in, and with a smile on my face ready to be there for my client, and care for them in the details, whatever that means each day.
Join Our Team
At Assisting Hands Home Care in Arlington Heights, our clients love our caregivers, and we love working with them! If these activities sound like something you can see yourself doing, we would love to hear from you! We love to hire locally and are always looking for individuals to make a difference.
Give us a call at (847) 908-1525 to get started!