Home care is a broad term which entails different kinds of services that depend primarily on the specific needs of patients. For in home caregivers, a typical work week means at least five days with their patient. This set up fosters familiarity and consistency, while ensuring comfort and convenience for both parties. A typical day for most in home caregivers involves dealing with the patient’s physical, emotional and mental needs. Most of these skilled professionals are affiliated with senior care companies that provide various patient assignments.
The day starts with assisting the patient to get off the bed and take a bath. Depending on the patient’s strength and mobility, this could be a hot shower or simply a sponge bath. Frail patients are usually given a chair with the caregiver providing just the appropriate level of assistance. The goal is to help the patient maintain as much independence as possible.
The caregiver then prepares breakfast based on the physician’s dietary recommendations. The patient’s food intake may have to be documented to make sure that his/her nutritional needs are met. In most cases, the caregiver is tasked to prepare and serve two warm meals and then have a pre-cooked meal which the patient can warm up in the microwave or oven for dinner.
Regular Exercise and Social Activities
Encouraging the patient to venture out of the house and perform some light exercises is an integral part of any elder care routine. Getting out into the sun and having some fresh air can be invigorating and keeps most patients up and about for the rest of the day. Then again, this depends on the mobility and physical capacity of the patient. Some can have a stroll in the park, but for those who are immobile, the caregiver needs to use a wheelchair and push it for the walk.
All in home caregivers will find that each job is different because patients’ needs are varied and diverse. In general, caregivers need to assist their patients so they get time to enjoy some physical and social activities. In addition, the caregiver may be assigned to run errands such as short trips to the grocery store or to the local pharmacy to purchase medications and other supplies.
Activities in the Evening
If the caregiver won’t stay overnight, the patient needs to be prepared late in the afternoon. Such preparation includes dinner, beddings, medications, etc. The idea is to ensure that the patient will be comfortable and safe once the caregiver leaves at the end of the day. Most patients appreciate conversations with their caregiver. This serves as a mental exercise and is of particular importance among patients with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.
A typical day in the life of an in home caregiver involves a lot of hard work and dedication. The job may be physically and emotionally taxing but most practitioners are rewarded by the feeling of satisfaction and fulfilment that comes with caring for another individual.
About the Author:
Jason Castillo is a licensed physical therapist who shares a passion for caring for the elderly. He has taught Geriatrics in a major university and a number of caregiver schools, with the objective of fostering quality and passionate care for seniors. This is his advocacy and wishes to share it with world.