With life expectancy in the united increasing to 79.1 years and 73.1 years
for females and males respectively, it is expected that the country will
register a 20 percent growth in people aged above 65 years in the next
two decades. Consequently, the position of a senior caregiver will be in
more demand as the society tries to grapple with the ever increasing needs
of elderly and healthcare services. As the younger generation becomes more
involved in income earning activities in order to fend for their families, it is
quite apparent that the elderly will not receive the much needed care and
attention from relatives as was the case in the past. This explains why
assisted living facilities are on the increase.
The assisted living facilities are among the most likely places that a senior
caregiver can work. Here, the elderly are supervised or assisted with
activities surrounding their daily lives. In such a facility, senior caregivers
also monitor the activities of the senior residents with an aim of ensuring
that their health, well-being and overall safety are well taken care of. In
assisted living facilities, senior caregivers are trained to allow the elderly
some level of independent living and only supervise them when necessary.
The philosophy behind such type of care provision is based on the need to
promote dignity and independence among the elderly.
A senior caregiver working in a nursing home however faces a totally
different kind of working environment. Elderly residents in nursing homes
often need 24-hour supervision especially in relation to medical care
provision. This means that senior caregivers working in nursing homes have
to dedicate long hours providing care for the elderly. They must also be
prepared to work in shifts to avoid fatigue.
If you have an intent on working as a senior caregiver, you must possess
some interpersonal qualities such as good communication skills, ability to
work long hours and patience. While the elderly can be quite a joy to work
with, attending to their demands on a daily basis can be quite draining on
one’s emotions and energy. To ensure that you are always ready to handle
the challenges presented by your work, taking breaks from work in order to
relax is recommended. Also, make sure that you do not take your job as a
senior caregiver too seriously to the extent of neglecting your own needs.
Like any other job, working as a caregiver has hurdles that you must
overcome in order to increase your efficiency at work. One of the ideal
ways of coping is by joining a support group.
You should also remember that, besides the fact that most seniors loose
their normal bodily functions with time, they need as much encouragement
as you can possibly give them. Besides the physical needs, they also have
emotional needs that ought to be addressed. As such, give them a listening
ear as often as you can. This may be all they need to feel appreciated
and wanted despite their age. Finally, do not dismiss the cliché that wisdom
comes with age. Working with the seniors may be the perfect resource for
wisdom, which you may need in future.
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