- Aging & Longevity
Taking care of the Elderly Person or Elderly People with Compassion
Caring for the Elderly
This is my own personal experience that I would like to share with my readers !!!
It started out only as a job.... but ended up much more than that.
I began working for our Local Council as what was classified as a Home Carer. This position was primarily to help people with health problems, or other reasons to stay in their own homes.
Our main duties were to clean their homes from top to bottom, once a week in some cases once a fortnight, also shop for them, do their banking,pay accounts,write letters etc, Also it was very important to be a genuinely good listener.
After caring for these people over a long period of time a bond developed and a strong friendship was formed!
Some of the folks who I met had a little more independence than others.
Simply because they could still drive their cars. Some outings they loved to go on, were visiting friends, go to the Movies or Bingo, go out for lunch, or to the park, some also loved to go swimming and do Water exercises, drive themselves to church or Doctors appointments,
Being able to do these things reinforced in their minds their independence, and allowed them to remain in their homes for a much longer period. Most of these places were not too far from their homes, that was very important to them, as they did not like to drive long distances, for most driving at night was something that made them uncomfortable, so all their outings were organized during daylight hours.
Others may not have been able to drive a car but were possibly physically able to ride on an Electric Scooter, which helped them tremendously mentally and physically. The distances they could travel on a Scooter were limited but they could still visit friends, go to the shops, church or to keep Doctors appointments, it was really all that they wanted to do.
A great mode of Transport for all ages with a mobility disorder. Not just the elderly.
Although not perfect, this allowed them more freedom than they would have had otherwise.
After a few years doing Home Care, I decided to do an extra training course to become a Personal Carer and a Respite Carer.
Personal Care and Respite Care were the most rewarding positions I had ever held in my life.
As the title says it was personal. Showering people every day or every other day (men and women), taking care of their Dental needs, hair, finger nails and toe nails, dressing, shaving helping to choose what to wear plus other very personal needs. Cooking them healthy food, making sure they ate 3 healthy meals a day including fruit and even their afternoon and morning teas, also that they took their medications (we were not allowed to give meds only make sure they took them). All the things we take for granted when we are young and healthy.
Respite. Sitting with people could be 2 hours 6 hours or overnight, take them out for a drive, where ever they would like to go, such as A picnic in the park, A movie, just look around the shopping centre, have a coffee.
I spent many enjoyable hours reading books and newspapers to my ladies and gentlemen,or helping my ladies with their hobbies such as knitting or needlework,sometimes if they had arthritic hands they could get a little frustrated if things did not go right,but they usually ended up smiling :) again,it didn't take much to make that happen.
The appreciation they showed was sometimes overwhelming, the life stories that they shared, some happy, some sad, were incredible. Confiding in you their very personal and private fears and concerns (you do have to take an oath of confidentially), and told with such passion like they were actually back in that moment. It could blow your mind ( in the best possible way).
There is a 'down' side . That is when you lose one of your ladies or gentlemen. You realize that it is inevitable but even so it is very very upsetting when it does happen :(
Time to retire
After 12 years in this position it took me about 6 months to decide that I needed to retire. It was so very hard to leave (in my mind I felt like I was abandoning all my beautiful ladies and gentlemen) which in reality was not true, there were many others that were doing the same job.
So if you are looking for the most rewarding career and feel you have what it takes, kindness and the fun of meeting these beautiful people and appreciate what they want and need, maybe you could try it. You may be very pleased you did.
I believe all of us need a little help at some point in our lives.
Seeing this written down before my eyes has brought back the most wonderful memories. :) :)