At Home Instead, we believe you should be well cared for, in every way.
Sometimes that involves your CAREGiver helping you with personal care, like showering, toileting and getting dressed. For many clients, this is just a natural part of life – but for others, the very thought of allowing another person to provide them with intimate care can be a different experience.
This month, we’ve asked two of our CAREGivers to explain how they handle providing personal care. We are dedicated to ensuring that our clients privacy is respected at all times, their perspectives will help put your mind at ease.. Remember, we are here to help.
Home Instead CAREGiver
“Personal care services are really very essential care services for people who want to remain living at home. I feel privileged to be a part of their lives, not just for showering but also for meal preparation and companionship. Home Instead is very much about assessing the person’s needs and providing the best and most appropriate care we can. We don’t do the ‘cookie cutter’ approach.
Being a CAREGiver is a balancing act when it comes to personal care. You have to be personal but also professional, and build up a rapport with the person you’re caring for. I always see and think of my clients as a person, first and foremost. I think, ‘How would I feel if it was me, sitting there naked and being showered?’ I just talk to them throughout, although I’ve also learnt to be comfortable with silence if that’s what they prefer. You’ve got to find that fine line between offering an essential professional service and doing it in a personal and caring way. Showering can actually become quite straightforward!
I know my clients are vulnerable, so I just take my time, remain focused on that person, and build trust. I always keep eye contact and talk to them. I let them take the lead with showering if they prefer, and I’m never too forceful. It takes a fair amount of time to build rapport, but it’s very worthwhile. I try to build trust and I’m as open and honest as possible.
I do find being a CAREGiver very fulfilling. When I leave a shift at the end of the day, I think, ‘Wow, I’ve really fulfilled that person’s needs.’ A woman I was caring for, told me recently how much she appreciated my attention to details when I was folding sheets for her. It really made me think how we take some simple things for granted, but an act of doing that task correctly for someone else can really make a difference for that person.
I’m just there to assist them to live their best life. I love noticing that everyone has their own little routine or preferred sequences. I try to remember everyone’s likes and dislikes. We do sit back and have a laugh!
I believe the personal care services I provide are incredibly important. Personal care services mean peace of mind for my clients, and I think it really lowers their anxiety levels. If it wasn’t for Home Instead, most of my clients would be facing quite different living arrangements. Instead, they’re living comfortably in their own homes.
It’s sad that people don’t like to be seen to be needing help at home, but there’s really no shame in it. It actually makes a huge difference to my clients’ quality of life and lets them stay living where they want to live…at home.”
Home Instead CAREGiver
“Personal care services are so important to my clients. It provides them with dignity. We all want to feel fresh and alert, because when we’re clean, we feel like our normal selves.
It’s not awkward, it’s an essential service. When you go to shower someone as a CAREGiver, it’s very important to ask the client how they would like to be assisted. They realise you’re just there to help, you’re just that extra pair of hands.
Of course, it’s healthier to be clean and have your hair washed. We can also do skin checks while we’re washing people, you know – keep an eye on anything that looks unusual, or watch for little nicks or cuts, especially on dementia clients.
I guess it makes the biggest difference to clients who aren’t very mobile. It assists them to stay clean and healthy, and to feel good. It’s very important to be respectful and consistent, so my clients can feel comfortable.
I treat my clients with a lot of respect and privacy while I’m helping them with personal care. It’s also important to be discreet, especially if they’re wearing incontinence pads. We make it a positive experience where we can, even having nice fluffy towels ready at bathtime!
It’s an intimate but professional relationship. We help where we can, but you’ve just got to get on with it. There’s nothing strange, it’s an essential service. It’s so important for a person’s health.
The reward is, that person you are helping can stay at home, be safe and clean. It definitely provides my clients with peace of mind, and it’s peace of mind for their family members too.
I get a lot of satisfaction out of my job. It fills you with pride to know that you’re their safe pair of hands. You are really making a difference in people’s lives, not just the client but also their family.
You just go in and do your best to make life easier for them, and that person can stay home. Especially during COVID-19, it’s more important than ever to keep people safe at home. When we keep people at home, their families can still go and see them, even if it’s just sitting apart in the garden. It’s not the same if you have a loved one in a big facility that goes into lockdown – you might not be able to see them for weeks or even months.
I’d definitely recommend being a CAREGiver. It’s very fulfilling. I used to be a hairdresser and I wonder why I didn’t change careers to this, years ago! That was all superficial compared to what I do now.
Sometimes you’re the only person your client will see in their day, and they really look forward to your visit. I know I’m making a really positive contribution, and my work is really valued by the people I’m helping. They’re happier because they’re able to stay in the home they love.”
Home Instead can help you with personal care, conducted in a caring and discreet way. Just ask.