Understand your environment
Working in the home of the patient is relatively unpredictable as compared to working in controlled environments such as hospitals. Therefore, caregivers must understand their new environment so that they can use it to their advantage. The home environment is constantly changing and anything can happen. You must be on guard at all times because you never know what might happen within a span of a few minutes.
Get to know the ailing individual
Caregivers should know the individual that they are dealing with. If they are sick, it is best to understand the ailments that they are suffering from. This will enable you to research about the illness and even plan on how you will offer the needed care. You should also build a close relationship with the patient as it will enable him/her to open up to you. This is crucial, especially if you will be required to carry out personal care services such as bathing, dressing, washing and combing the hair of the ailing or aging parent.
Request for and accept help
Being a caregiver does not mean that you will have to handle everything by yourself. Most caregivers are reluctant to request for help from other people as they do not want to seem like a burden to them. However, it is good to get help whenever you need it to avoid burnout. You can easily get help from professionals, friends, family members, community resources and from websites like assistinghandshouston.com.
You must be able to communicate well with your patient and with his/her family members. Be clear in your speech and let your employer know what you want. Avoid giving hints and hoping that the individual will understand what you want because people cannot read minds. Clear communication will ensure that you get the support or help that you require. However, you should also be a good listener so that you can clearly understand any instructions given.
Avoid overstraining yourself
One of the biggest risks that home health aides and nurses face is back injuries resulting from moving or lifting patients. If you are working alone, it is important to observe excellent body mechanics and make maximum use of assistive devices and transfer systems. You can also request for assistance from a fellow home healthcare aide when handling hard-to-transfer or heavy patients and avoid shortcuts that can cause injuries to you or to the patient.
Most caregivers forget about their own well being when taking care of other individuals. However, when caregivers neglect their personal needs, they usually end up burned out and sick. Burnouts and sicknesses can hinder the ability of any professional to provide quality care. Therefore, caregivers must ensure that they are always in perfect health so that they can continue enjoying the fruits of providing home care to the ailing or aging individuals.
Bill Wililiams has worked in several home healthcare agencies in Houston. Her career spans over two decades offering care for ailing and aging individuals. Her dedication and passion for her work has made her popular among many families that have sought her services in the past. For more information on elderly care, check out assistinghandshouston.com.