Caregiver Basics Do’s And Don’ts
There should be a care plan, generated from the doctor or caregiver where the primary focus should be on the person in need.
“I am certain no one sets out to be cruel, but our treatment of the elderly ill seems to have no philosophy to it. As a society, we should establish whether we have a policy of life at any cost.”
- A caregiver can never abuse the client, physically, emotionally, verbally, or sexually. There are laws in all 50 states concerning Elder Abuse. Often the abuse is subtle where the abuser is not aware that through their impatience they unknowingly are unkind.
- Watch for and report abuse.
- Maintain boundaries. Call the client by the name that they prefer.
- Allow the client to make as many choices as possible, and keep them involved.
- Always explain what you are about to do before you do it.
- Do not expose your client during hygiene care; they deserve dignity.
- Respect their refusal of care.
- Be truthful.
- Never go through their belongings.
- Do not open their mail, or read their mail, unless they ask.
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In choosing a caregiver, be careful not to let one person do all the work or work for long periods. Do allow your caregiver plenty of breaks, and time off because eldercare can become stressful.
Hire someone the family likes; do not hire family members if you can avoid it because the circumstances may be overwhelming for a loved one.
Family members may be too sensitive and too dramatic to be able to provide care. Have one boss, let the caregiver do their job, (micro-managing will diminish their effectiveness).
The chosen caregiver should have specific instruction.
They should pay special attention to the client’s body language, and facial expressions. The caregiver should set the tone by being positive, reassuring, uplifting, all while smiling.
A good caregiver will speak directly to the client, looking them in the eye, in a comfortable tone, even with the hearing impaired yelling is not necessary in most cases.
A touch also lets the client know that the focus is on them. They should use simple phrases when communicating with your client.