We often hear about the sacrifices carers make to provide in home care for their loved ones, but we don’t hear enough about the benefits of being a carer. Whether family or professional, providing in home care for the elderly offers a lot for the carer. In fact, many carers feel that caring has helped shape who they are as a person. These benefits make us better carers and they make us more balanced people. When we keep them in mind, we remember the bigger picture and focus on what’s most important in life.
The Positive Impacts of Being a Family Carer
1. You will know who your true friends and family are.
Providing in home care services as a family carer can be lonely, but it will also show you who your true friends are. They’re the ones who are willing to offer help or keep you company as you support your loved one ageing in place. They’re the people who will listen to you talk about the difficult moments of in home care. They will celebrate your victories alongside you. When someone is there for you in your most challenging moments, you’ll develop a deep trust. Caring helps you realise which relationships are your best and strengthens them even further.
Takeaway Tip: Sometimes it can be hard for your loved ones to know how to be there for you. If you’re feeling isolated, learn to ask for help from a trusted friend or family member. Tell them you’re feeling lonely and ask if you can go out for coffee or even take a walk together. Your loved ones may not reach out because they’re worried about burdening you with more obligations on top of your care in the home duties. Make it clear that you appreciate the time you spend together.
2. You will learn not to second guess yourself.
As a carer, sometimes you might second guess yourself. Remember, you don’t have to be the best at everything to provide the best in home care for your loved one. Even if you do everything right, people get sick and scary things happen sometimes when performing the role of nurse at home. It’s easy to blame yourself but you’re not responsible for protecting your loved one from everything. Do your best and treat yourself with compassion.
3. You will become confident in your ability to handle anything.
Caring will throw you a lot of curveballs and you’ll serve in a lot of different roles when you provide care in the home. You will talk to doctors, nurses, case managers, lawyers, physical therapists and other aged care providers. You’ll learn to administer medications and help someone dress, amongst other new skills. Caring will equip you with new skills to handle many situations in all areas of life.
Takeaway Tip: Remember, even if you can handle everything that in home nursing care throws at you, you aren’t responsible for everything. People will notice that you have a good head on your shoulders and may begin to turn to you for help. Helping others is a wonderful thing, but you also need to remember to protect your time. If possible, offer advice and guidance instead of doing things for others. Share what you’ve learned while providing in home care, and empower others to achieve their own successes.
4. You will come to understand what you truly value.
Family carers can burn out when it feels like everything is important and urgent. If you take the time to think about your values and priorities, you’ll have an easier time saying no to things that could drain you while providing care in the home. When you’re asked to do something, ask yourself if it aligns with your values. If it doesn’t, you can choose to say no.
5. You will experience the normal rhythms of being a family.
Everyday moments like pottering in the garden, cooking, tending to children are part of what make up a good life, and being a family carer can help you to enjoy more of these times with while providing in home care. Find a way to spend little moments with your loved one doing everyday activities that you both enjoy.
Avoiding Carer Burnout to Reap the Benefits of Being a Carer
If you’re a family carer and live with the person you are providing in home care for, you will burn out if you feel like you’re always on duty. Don’t make everything about caring. Allow yourself to have a simple dinner with your loved one without worrying about their in home care needs. Reframe your thinking and try to enjoy experiences for what they are.
It’s easy to get caught up in your responsibilities but caring isn’t only about the day-to-day care in the home we provide. It’s about connection and sharing a life with the person you care for. Just like you don’t want to spend every moment as a carer, your loved one doesn’t want to spend every moment being taken care of as they are ageing in place. They want to experience life with you beyond the things you do for them, beyond your role as an in home care service. And this is one of the greatest benefits of caring. It gives you the opportunity to experience the joys of being a family.
The Benefits of Being a Professional Care Worker
Make no mistake, caring is hard work. It requires dedication, commitment, responsibility and integrity. The scope of work in home care assistance can be exhaustive but the benefits of being a Care Worker and caring for the elderly can also be significant. What motivates paid home care agency workers to choose the work they do? Let’s look at some of the benefits of caring and some examples from real in home care workers:
1. The Desire to Help
Caring is a helping profession. Providing care for the elderly in their home brings enormous benefits to the Care Worker and the family member. Events such as illness, accident or slow decline can cause the need for in home health care from a home care agency. To assist someone is to understand a person’s needs and meet or exceed those needs. The trust and appreciation that develops is rewarding and empowering for both Care Worker and family member.
Often, the presence of in home care services can allow someone to remain in their own home, enabling ageing in place and avoiding assisted living through aged care providers or nursing home care. Fostering independence and improving someone’s quality of life is the goal of caring. Depending on the situation this can take many forms, from maximum functional assistance to companionship and socialisation.
Desiree, one of Home Care Assistant’s Care Workers puts it this way:
“Being a Care Worker is such an honour! It’s all about putting away my needs to assist someone. Knowing that a smile on my face can bring joy and happiness to someone else is priceless. The moments when I can reflect back and see how I’ve helped someone is what caring is all about.”
2. Diversity of Experience
In home care workers experience a wide variety of individuals with complex needs. There is no one-size-fits-all situation. Workers who provide in home health care have the ability to adapt to different lifestyles, backgrounds, races, and disabilities. This requires putting personal preferences aside to connect and adapt to the person. A skill that more of us could use!
3. Learning New Skills
Depending on the tasks a Care Worker is assigned by their home care agency, learning new skills is just part of the job. Care Workers do everything from running errands to checking blood pressure, providing in home nursing care, to helping improve functioning.
Training opportunities allow Care Workers to hone their skills. They learn how to deal with dementia, activities of daily living, transfers, and companionship. These are lifelong skills that transfer to all aspects of a home care assistance workers life.
Some people don’t want to sit at a desk! Providing in home care is an active job. It also involves working with different people and families at different times. Many Care Workers enjoy making their own hours and designating a schedule that works best for them in providing in home care services.
Some home care workers prefer part-time, some full-time. Others prefer mornings or nights and weekends. Most home care agencies will work with Care Workers to accommodate their preferences while still meeting the needs of individuals.
In home care services relieve family stress. This allows family members to take a break from caring duties. They also can allow a person to remain independently ageing in place, while improving the quality of their life. Here are some examples of real Care Workers and their positive experiences with people and family members they have met providing in home care.
Cassandra from Home Care Assistance has a perfect example of how a Care Worker can make a significant impact on someone’s life:
“Cassandra was asked to work with another client for a few days. This senior recently lost her husband and was struggling to perform daily tasks like bathing and grooming. Thanks to Cassandra’s encouragement, the senior began doing these activities and more in a matter of days! This included making and committing to doctor’s appointments, which the senior had not attended in a long time. Cassandra not only co-ordinates these appointments with the senior but escorts her to them as well. Her top priority is making sure her clients always feel safe and comfortable.”
Diana, another Home Care Assistance Care Worker talks about the mutual benefit of helping someone become more self-sufficient while improving her self-esteem:
“Other things I find [important when] providing in home care is making them their favourite meals and giving them little treats of their favourite desserts.
For those who don’t struggle with dressing, dressing them up even if they are not going out raises their self-esteem, especially if they receive compliments from family members or guests.
Last Sunday, my client was complimented by some young ladies who said she was dressed so well she should appear in Vogue magazine, and she was over the moon!”
The tasks of in home care services can be as varied as the individuals themselves. Diversity of tasks keeps Care Workers stimulated and can make the job more exciting. One moment a Care Worker needs to run errands; another time someone needs help in the shower or with dressing, or being a My aged Care Service finder. At other times the unexpected happens and Care Workers have to think and respond on their feet and on the fly.
Edith shows how an in home Care Worker sometimes needs to respond in ways that are unpredictable and unexpected:
“It was a Tuesday. The weather channel was reporting some rain, but Edith arrived at the care community where her client lived without incident. She even remembers thinking that they were blessed to have rain after the fires around the area. But at around 4:00am, one of the resident’s sons came to inform everyone that the aged care facility was flooding.
It was covered in mud, water, debris, and even fallen trees, one of which fell right on top of Edith’s car. Shortly after, they found themselves with no electricity, no phone service and trapped in the complex.
They realised the full scope of the tragedy when they were informed that no-one would be able to rescue them since a huge mudslide was blocking the roads. Edith knew she and the other two Care Workers in the facility had to take care of the residents and make sure they were safe.
They took care of the whole floor, making sure the residents were not panicking or frightened. Of course, everyone was frightened, including Edith, but she knew her priority was in giving aid to the residents. Edith persevered until everyone was finally evacuated on Thursday afternoon.”
As you can see by the examples above, providing in home care is both demanding and rewarding. To learn more about the amazing difference Home Care Assistance Care Workers make in people’s lives, call us today.
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As a leading age care provider, Home Care Assistance offers tailored in-home care services for older Australians, enabling them to live happier and healthier lives in the comfort of their own homes.
We offer private and government subsidised Care Packages and have office locations that are a registered NDIS provider. Our Care Workers undergo extensive training in order to deliver unmatched in-home aged care services where people can continue ageing in place. We are proud ambassadors of the My Aged Care government funded aged care program, enabling Australians to successfully navigate the process and gain approval for in-home care support packages. Home Care Assistance offers hourly care, specialised care, Alzheimer’s and Dementia care, hospital to home care, and 24 hour in home care.