Answers to the 3 Most Common Questions First-time Caregivers Ask
September 22, 2022
A caregiver balances a multitude of things on a daily basis. With many responsibilities and a sometimes challenging work environment, asking questions about your job may come as last priority.
At Premier Custom Care, we couldn’t continue to provide the quality of service and care we pride ourselves on, without our wonderful caregiving team. We know when starting a new career, especially if transitioning to healthcare, it can seem overwhelming. That’s why we sat down and came up with 3 of the most common questions we get asked by our first-time caregivers to help them stay on track.
1. What personal and professional boundaries should I be aware of?
As a caregiver, you are in the client’s most sacred place– their home. Establishing and learning boundaries is extremely important, especially with elderly clients.
So as you and the client are getting familiar with each other, it’s important to ask if something is okay before/or while doing it, politely set personal boundaries for yourself, and make note of their requests/preferences, as it relates to:
- Voice and sound– which can mean how loud you talk, how loud the TV or radio is set at, and being cognizant of sounds you make when cleaning up. One client may need you to speak loud and slow. But another client may be offended when you speak in that same volume and speed to them.
- Physical contact and space– which can mean touching or hugging, to the physical space between you and them. You may be a hugger, and some clients may love hugs. But not all client’s will. So ask them if it’s okay before surprising them with a hug.
- Emotions– which can mean someone being more sensitive about a place or memory. A client will have certain triggers, so it’s important to make note of these and avoid them when possible, or be prepared to objectively help them through it when the situation arises.
Regarding personal/professional boundaries for you:
- Don’t take money from them, even if they offer it. And don’t give them your own money, even if you like being generous.
- Don’t give the client your personal cell phone number. You don’t want to get calls/texts in the middle of the night. That’s for your management team to handle.
- It’s important you don’t become too emotional and attached to your client. Which can be very difficult to do considering the personal nature of being a caregiver.
- You are providing a service for the client, as a representative of a company; so even though your political views may be different than the client’s, you need to be respectful of their opinion and emotions on a topic.
2. How can I make my client’s home safer?
Making a client’s home safe means more than making it accessible for mobility. You can improve the safety of your client’s home by:
- Seeing if the home is reasonably clean and organized as mold, dust, and other bacteria can cause respiratory issues.
- Making sure smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are functioning properly, and are easily accessible.
- Moving any sharp furniture edges, throw rugs or electric cords that can pose a risk to falls or injury.
- Checking the kitchen for expired food or for food that can have bad reactions to any of their medications.
Each client will have different living and medical circumstances. If you feel that your client’s home is extremely unsafe or is affecting your ability to provide care, contact your manager or your client’s social worker for more information.
3. How can I pass the time with my client?
The best way to pass the time with your client is to chat and have fun with them. Our caregivers are some of the best in the business, and that’s because they treat everyone like family.
Making eye contact, calling them by name, and giving directions or questions one at a time are crucial when dealing with memory-care clients that may have difficulty processing information. Pay attention to what they are talking about and see how you can contribute your own ideas to the conversation. Playing games, taking a stroll outside or a trip to the local park are also great ways to connect and spend time with your client.
As you continue your journey into caregiving, know that it’s okay to ask questions along the way. Transitioning into a career of caregiving provides you with the opportunity to improve the lives of others, and spread kindness in your community. If you’re interested in becoming a caregiver, visit our Careers page to learn more about the job opportunities at Premier Custom Care.