So, you have found yourself in the role of caregiver for a parent or family member. Now what? What skills and qualities do you need to be successful? What can you expect on a daily basis? How will you manage all of your other responsibilities and avoid developing caregiver burnout?
At The Pavilion Senior Living, we offer a number of senior living and care options throughout Tennessee and West Virginia. We know just how important your new role is. We also know that if you are just starting your caregiving journey, you may feel overwhelmed with figuring out what to do next.
We want to share what life is like for a family caregiver, as well as some of the essential qualities that will help you excel in your new role.
Job Description: Family Caregiver
Enhance your life by enriching the life of your loved one. This challenging yet rewarding role enables you to not only find purpose in your life but also to improve the quality of life of your parent or family member. Your loved one needs a compassionate individual who can help them perform the activities of daily living and engage in mentally and physically stimulating interests.
- Be a companion for your loved one – This includes playing games, watching movies, engaging in conversation, etc.
- Assisting your family member with the activities of daily living – Dressing assistance, bathing, and other personal hygiene tasks
- Medication management – Monitoring the amount and type of medication your loved one needs to take as directed by their physician(s)
- Arrange and sit in on medical appointments – Scheduling different doctor appointments and being present for them to ensure you are aware of any developments to establish their best plan of care
- Run errands for your parent or relative – This could include grocery shopping, transportation to medical appointments, pharmacy runs, shopping, etc.
- Handle financial and legal matters – Pay bills, monitor finances, etc.
- Complete cooking and cleaning tasks – Prepare three meals and snacks per day, wash dishes, vacuum, dust, laundry, etc.
- Be able to transfer your loved one (as applicable) – From bed to chair, from chair to standing, in and out of a vehicle, etc.
- Assist with exercises – Depending on your family member’s care plan and level of ability, you may need to help them perform physical therapy exercises
- On-call 24/7 – Whatever the time of day, you need to be available to provide assistance should your loved one need it
Essential Qualities and Skills
Compassion and Understanding
Having compassion and understanding for your loved one will help you provide senior care that allows them to feel safe while ensuring their needs are met.
Patience and Flexibility
Even if you have an efficient routine, unforeseen circumstances happen. You need to have the patience and flexibility to deal with changes and adapt your caregiving experience to the task at hand.
Attention to Detail and Observation Skills
Your loved one may not want to or be able to tell you if they are dealing with a new or worsening condition. It is up to you to pay close attention to their health and behavior to recognize any changes that may be happening.
Organization and Time Management
Chances are, you are juggling your caregiver responsibilities with the other responsibilities in your life, such as a career or family. Organization and time management skills are essential to making the most out of your time and ensuring everything gets handled.
Tips for Success
- Learn as much as possible about your loved one’s condition – The more you know, the better prepared you will be to provide care.
- Establish a routine – This will help you and your family member know what to expect out of the day and help you manage your other responsibilities.
- Ask for or accept help – You cannot do everything on your own. Prevent caregiver burnout by creating a support team and using respite care services.
- Take care of yourself – To provide the best care possible, you need to be in good health yourself. Take a break, eat healthily, and exercise regularly.
If you have accepted these responsibilities, congratulations! You got the job. Caregiving is a big job, and at The Pavilion Senior Living, we take senior care seriously. For more information on the services we provide or our communities in general, we invite you to contact a member of our team or visit our website.