It takes someone special to be a carer. Most people’s caring instincts stretch to their children, family members and close friends, but it takes more to care for someone you’ve never met. In our experience, when you do begin to grow your field of compassion, you reap the rewards through generating a sense of wellbeing.
This is not to say that we care just because it makes us feel good but that it makes others feel good too. As a carer it is important to remember how we’d like others to treat us and do that. We all know how warm company can make us glow when we’re feeling lonely or down and elderly people really value the company of a carer. As well as companionship, a carer can help their clients to flourish in different ways; by cooking wholesome food, offering to take them for a walk, feeling the sun on their face, or meeting friends. This interaction and stimulation is like adding water and sun to a flower, it comes alive. As carers, when we see our clients smile, laugh and enjoy themselves we know we are doing our job properly.
Most jobs have a clock off period. You get up, go to work and when it is done you go home and relax. Working as a live in carer is not like that. You live in your workplace and your client’s needs don’t just stop at 5pm. Saying that, it is important for carers to have time off and that is why we recommend a 3 hour break each afternoon to have some ‘me time’. They might want to go for a walk, eat out somewhere, meet a friend or just sit in a café and people watch. Whatever they like to do these breaks are a chance to recharge the batteries and break up the day. It is also a chance for the client to have time to themselves. One of the reasons people employ a carer is that they want to stay independent, this is something to be aware of, sometimes our clients just want some space.
Caring is an art not a science, we need to be sensitive and flexible to our clients needs. Each client is different so we need to listen first and act second. The better we get to know our client, the better care we can offer them.