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How to Become an Amazing Caregiver and Support Worker

This article discusses how caregivers, carers and support workers can improve on their services and client care to service users

Young man rendering patient elderly care

Young man rendering patient elderly care

A caregiver assisting a wheelchair patient

A caregiver assisting a wheelchair patient

Nobody cares how much you know, until they know how much you care...

— Theodore Roosevelt

How Carers Can Become Amazing Caregivers and Support Workers in 10 Ways

All over the world, people have accepted caring Jobs voluntarily or as paid services. Either way, One thing is that carers take care of the aged, sickly, disabled, vulnerable, mentally and physically challenged people.

They caregivers for these people could be their friends, family, strangers, and even people of different ethnicity, race, tribe, and nations. No doubt, the Job requires skills, and experience in patience, and charity as a virtue. Their services comprise of a range of tasks and responsibilities that are energy and time demanding.

This article discusses how carers, caregivers, and support workers with little or no experience can execute their Job description effectively and efficiently in 10 ways.

Note: For the purposes of this article, the people giving care will be randomly referred to as the carer, support worker, support assistant, and caregiver, while the people receiving the care will be referred to as the service user, customer, patient, caree, and customer.

1. Communication

Communication is a very important aspect of caregiving. The carer must be able to listen to the service user and understand them. It is imperative to note that your client can lash out at the slightest provocation or become cheeky. As a support worker, you should never react in aggressive manner but remain calm and confident.

What you have to do is to find out what went wrong, it could be you have skipped a routine or some past events just refreshed their memory which made them unhappy. You just need to reassure them of their security, and comfort, and promise to help them when they calm down. Moreover communicate that you can help them when you're told what went wrong. I have observed that this technique works very well.

2. Medication

A good number of patients is on routine medication and it is the duty of carer to strictly adhere to the doctor’s prescription. Some service users take pain killers, others on laxatives, depressants, inhalants, stimulants or regular analgesics. Hence skipping medication can lead to some unexpected outburst or behavior.

Caregivers must ensure medication is taken as at when due and should medication be skipped, kindly phone up the General Practitioner (GP) for advice and follow it up.

3. Health hygiene

It’s very pertinent that you do not presume any health and hygiene routine of the customer. Kindly ask when in doubt. Some patients tend to use particular toiletries or adhere to some form of hygiene routine like haircut, never repeat clothes and attends pedicure, manicure, massaging saloons or skin tanning.

Believe me, every activity must have been approved by a specialist, and you should not overlook this great responsibility. Usually there is a score card for daily, monthly, biannual and annual activities. Get the task done and tick as appropriate; cheating is never condoned and should not be practiced.

Experienced carer rendering hospice care

Experienced carer rendering hospice care

4. Feeding

Most clients have their dieticians that have recommended certain kinds and classes of foods they can be consumed and how it should be prepared. The reason is that clients may have difficulty in swallowing, throat infection or or some kind of allergy. No worries!! there is always a time table pegged beside the dining table or kitchen door. Just access the menu listing, check for the food items, and careful follow the preparation routine.

Most clients do not take regular grocery food but strictly on diet, hence adhere to their feeding routine and time table. Please do not add and don’t remove because the meal you’re preparing is not for your consumption.

5. Fun Time

A certain number of patients have morning activities that are designed to be fun for them. It is vital you wake them up early enough to prepare for such activities.

Be aware that fun time could mean visiting their friends in another care home or going out for ice skating, soccer matches, going out for outdoor and indoor games at the park. At this point, you should relax and have fun altogether. However, remember you have got somebody under your care. So be observant and cautious, and make sure injuries, cuts, bruises, incidents and accidents are avoided at all cost. Peradventure it ever occurs you must be open and report immediately to your supervisors, and record the event into the incident or accident log book

6. Shopping

Carers can make shopping experience become fun for clients because it is an outdoor event. Some clients are able to shop for themselves, while others need to be guided. Be aware that some shopping malls have transparent doors and elevators and could form an obscure view from your patients perception.

In rare instances, a client could be Kleptomiac or walks in an unstable manner due to health condition. Therefore finding a spacious mall where shopping trolleys can be easily maneuvered is advisable, because you will be shopping, and caring at same time. In the event of long queues for pay points, you should guide your client to sit at a safe corner while you sort out the groceries, and make payments.

7. Evening Walk

Taking an evening walk is never far away from the usual routine especially when the weather is calm. It often helps to relieve stress, anxiety and douse tensions. strictly avoid very cold seasons, snow falls and rains.

Summertime is usually a good time for an evening walk at the park or visiting neighbors. One important aspect of taking a walk at the park is that it creates opportunity for the carer to understand the client a little more.

Giving an elder a helping lead

Giving an elder a helping lead

8. Private Time

Every service user needs to have an exclusive private moment where they are left alone. At these times, it is best not to disturb them but allow them to get adequate sleep. This aspect is where night shift workers must be vigilant for security reasons and observant for obvious reasons. A service user could be a sleep walker or feeling restless on the bed.

The caregiver should be able to handle the situation with ease by applying training and intuition. A cup of tea, coffee or hot chocolate with biscuits will surely help the service user. You can use your initiatives to allow for more TV viewing time or play an indoor game that they enjoy but nicely ask the service user to sleep afterwards.

9. Appointments

A number of service users have several scheduled routine medical appointments. You must endeavor that they attend to their doctors appointment as at when due. Moreover, some agencies or organization may require them to visit their office at certain times for reviews and such visits are very important.

Other appointments can be with the dermatologist, dietician, physiotherapist and dentist. If you notice any have been skipped, immediately phone them up to apologize and request for a new appointment date. Also this appointment provides opportunity for you to communicate any weird habits, nagging pain, swelling, soreness, redness, skin reactions and food allergies to the professionals for immediate attention.

10. Family

Every caregiver must be aware that service users have families and they do not find it funny when loved ones complain of any form of maltreatment. I know of carer that got a brand new car from the service user’s family because she was simply brilliant, and she bonded so well. They family bought her the car as a Christmas gift; it was so emotional.

Therefore, ensure that your service user is in contact with their family members especially people they are fond of phoning, and allow them some private talk-time if they are able. In some occasions service user may be unable to communicate verbally, thanks to video calls; hence you can standby for support and interpretation.

Some family members visits at odd hours, and usually says "we were driving–bye, and Just popped in to see how you guys are doing." Always oblige them to see their loved ones but nicely insist a phone call will be much better for next time.

Conclusion

Carers and caregivers have been described as essential workers because the help other people cope with day-to-day living. Whether you are doing a paid service or voluntary work as a support workers and support assistants, you must work in a thorough and responsible manner to ensure the comfort, safety and health of your service user and adopting person-centered care.

Caring about others, running the risk of feeling, and leaving an impact on people, brings happiness...

— Harold Kushner

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2021 Amarachi Nkwoada

Very interesting article

Amarachi Nkwoada (author) from Nigerian on January 22, 2021:

Well detailed