A career as a caregiver can be extremely rewarding, but undeniably difficult at the same time. Caregivers must have the ability to take on many roles; not only must a caregiver provide the “basics,” such as help with administering medications and getting an elderly person around – but they must often play the role of a friend or companion as well, keeping their client’s company.
Whether you have a caregiver helping you with your elderly loved one, you’re looking into becoming a caregiver, or you’re simply curious, read on to explore a typical day in the life of a caregiver.
Rise and Shine
A caregiver’s day often starts out with helping a client get out of bed and begin his or her day. Depending on the physical limitations of the client, the caregiver may need to assist with:
bathing and other personal hygiene
using the bathroom
Once the elderly client is ready for the day, the caregiver will get to work preparing his or her breakfast. Often times, elderly clients are have strict dietary restrictions, so the caregiver must make sure that all of these needs are met in a nutritious breakfast. At breakfast time, the caregiver may also make sure that the client takes any necessary medications.
Out and About
Typically, seniors should partake in at least some physical activity each day–provided that they’re physically capable of doing so. Therefore, another important responsibility of a caregiver may be to help the elderly client get around. This may include anything from going to pick up a few things from the grocery store to going for a walk (or wheelchair ride) in the park–and everything in between. Ultimately, the daily activities performed by a caregiver and his or her client will depend on the client’s physical limitations.
Time for Rest
Some caregivers provide services to their clients 24 hours a day; if this is the case, the caregiver may stay overnight. However, for caregivers who aren’t on-the-clock 24/7, they usually end the day by making sure a nutritious dinner is served to the client, administering any medications, and getting him or her ready for bed (putting on pajamas, brushing teeth, etc.).
Many caregivers also use the evening hours to have conversations with their clients, providing them with the human companionship they need. Before leaving for the night, a caregiver may set the client up with a safe activity, such as a crossword puzzle or a television show.
As you can see, the job of a caregiver involves a great deal of work. You might find it hard to believe that the average caregiver only makes between $8 and $14 per hour, according to PayScale.com. Fortunately, caregivers typically aren’t in the business for the money; they truly enjoy being able to help the people they serve.