Providing personal care is a valuable service that many people require in order to lead healthy and productive lives. Despite the fact that it is easy to see this job as a series of tasks, it is critical to remember that you are first and foremost providing a service. Create a friendly and welcoming environment where your charge feels respected and valued throughout their daily routine to help them feel valued and secure in their position. Additional efforts should be made to provide as much space, privacy, and autonomy to the person you are caring for as is reasonably practicable. Even the smallest gestures can have a significant impact on the lives of those under your supervision!
Method 1 Showing Kindness and Respect
1. Inviting them to provide feedback on various care options involving them is a good idea. Even if you have a lot of experience as a caregiver, avoid making assumptions about what your charge wants and doesn’t want. Make an effort to include your ward in the various tasks that you perform for them, whether it’s changing the thermostat or putting out fresh linens. More decisions involving your charge will give them the impression that they have more autonomy and control over their daily schedule and routine.
For example, you could say something like this: “I’ve brought in some new towels for your room.” “Would you like them placed on the sink or over the towel bar?” I asked.
Using your best judgement, determine what your ward would or would not like if they do not express a personal preference.
2. Engage them in a conversation that is friendly and welcoming. As you work on various household tasks throughout their room, think of friendly conversation starters. Instead of forcing a conversation, simply inquire as to the weather or the favourite sports team of the person you’re speaking with. If you spend a lot of time with them and don’t say anything meaningful, your actions may come across as dehumanising.
Make a conversation with someone like this: “I heard it’s going to snow tonight!” ”Do you like the cold weather that we’ve been having?”
If your ward has a particular interest, try to engage him or her in conversation about it.
3. Remember to be respectful of their religious and cultural beliefs. When you are spending time with your charge, you should put your own spiritual and cultural beliefs aside. Listen carefully when they are discussing their personal philosophies and beliefs, and refrain from offering any criticism or judgement in response. As an alternative, try to engage them in a conversation about their beliefs so that you can gain a better understanding of them.
For example, if your charge spends a lot of time talking about Catholic rites, you might want to try asking questions about the Catholic Church. Something along the lines of: “What is your favourite part about Mass?”
Avoid any type of question or comment that asks how or why they believe something, as this will be taken as a personal attack.
4. Pay close attention to what they have to say. Even if you’re in the middle of something else, give priority to the requests of those under your supervision. If they ask for something critical, make every effort to fulfil their request as quickly as possible. If you’re in the midst of a time-sensitive project, inform your ward that you’ll be available to assist as soon as you’re finished with your current task or project.
In the case of a cleaning situation involving your charge’s room, you should physically pause when they ask for your assistance with the task at hand. This demonstrates that you recognise their requirements and are interested in what they have to say.
5. Make eye contact with them and speak in a friendly and engaged tone of voice. Always communicate with your subordinate in the manner in which you would like to be communicated with. Is it more important to you that you are addressed in a bored and unfocused manner, or that you are addressed in an interested and respectful manner? By treating your ward as individuals rather than as tasks to be completed, you can extend common conversational courtesies to them and help them feel more at ease.
Making eye contact with someone is a great way to demonstrate that you are paying attention and are interested in what they are saying.
Keep your voice as calm as possible and avoid speaking in a manner that would be inappropriate for a child or animal. Remember that your charge is a human being who would prefer to be treated as such at the end of the day.
6. Maintain patient confidentiality when it comes to their medical records and health information. Don’t share any of your workday’s stories or patient information with anyone else. While your charge has no way of knowing what you talk about during your off-hours, it is important not to jeopardise the atmosphere of trust and privacy that you have established during the day. Please keep any stories or tidbits about your charge to yourself, rather than using them as a conversation starter with others.
The disclosure of a patient’s medical information is prohibited by law. If you are found to have shared this type of information, you could face serious consequences.
7. While you’re on duty, don’t forget to keep an eye on them. When possible, avoid leaving the area except to run errands or to go to another room or a nearby location. While you’re there to tend to your charge’s physical needs, you should also take the time to consider their emotional well-being as well. Make every effort to remain in close proximity to your ward so that they don’t feel lonely or isolated throughout the day.
If you need to leave for an extended period of time, make sure to notify your supervisor in advance.
Maintain open lines of communication with your ward about where you’re going and where you’re going to stay during your trip.
Method 2 Providing a Safe, Healthy, and Private Environment
1. Make sure to present their food in an appetising manner. Don’t give your ward the impression that they’ve been handed a tray of cafeteria food. Instead, arrange a beautiful arrangement on their table, tray, or other eating surface to impress them. By separating side dishes from the main course, you can make their food appear more fresh and well-organized. Additionally, instead of clumping their silverware together next to their plate, they should spread it out next to their plate.
Take, for example, putting the fork on the left-hand side of a plate while placing the knife and spoon along the right-hand side.
If you have a say in the food that is served to your ward, insist on meals that are prepared with fresh ingredients.
2. Do not make assumptions about their personal hygiene. It is best not to guess about how clean or dirty someone’s home is, or how often they prefer to take a shower or bath, because you may be wrong. Keep in mind that you and your charge are two completely different people, each with their own set of priorities and daily routines. Instead of passing judgement on your ward’s choice of how clean or messy they choose to leave their room, and how often they choose to clean themselves, show respect for their decision.
In some cases, individuals with limited mobility may be unable to adequately care for themselves or their surroundings.
3. Assist them with their toileting and bathing needs, if necessary. Try to keep a mental schedule of when your child goes to the bathroom and how often they bathe to help you out. When your client is using the toilet or getting ready to get into the shower or tub, inquire as to whether they require assistance removing their clothing. As needed, lend a hand with extra tasks or if your ward appears to be having particular difficulty with a particular part of the hygiene process.
Make sure your charge has plenty of time to use the restroom so that they can fully utilise the facility.
Make sure you have a section of toilet paper ready in case your subordinate requires it.
Watch how much water your ward consumes throughout the course of the day. Remind them not to be concerned about getting into an accident and to continue to drink plenty of fluids as usual.
4. Keep an eye on your body language when you’re interacting with others. Throughout your various responsibilities, keep an eye on how you appear and react to your charge. When assisting with hygiene tasks, avoid appearing uncomfortable or disgusted, as this can lead to feelings of shame and discomfort among your ward’s residents. Additionally, try to maintain an open posture so that you don’t appear closed off to your audience.
Make sure you don’t wrinkle your nose or make a disgusted expression when you’re giving someone assistance with their personal hygiene.
5. Inquire as to what they would like to wear. If your job entails grooming and dressing your subordinates, refrain from dressing them in a manner that you would not wear yourself. Instead, inquire as to which clothing items your ward would prefer to wear. If your ward is particularly difficult to please, try offering them a variety of options from their closet.
No matter if your charge dresses in a similar manner every day, they will appreciate having the freedom to choose their own clothes.
For example, you could say something like this: “Given that it’s going to be cold today, would you like to wear a jacket or a cardigan?”
6. In crowded environments, extra privacy can be beneficial. Pay close attention to the environment in which your charge is operating. If they’re in a more public setting, such as a hospital bed, they should first concentrate on making the space feel private and secure before performing any hygiene-related tasks there. Place privacy curtains around your charge’s bed if there are any available. Also, inquire with your ward if there is anything else you can do to help them feel more secure and comfortable.
Look into the possibility of moving your charge to a more private location if they have privacy concerns.
7. When they’re getting dressed, keep your gaze away. Keep in mind that your charge is a human being with their own sense of privacy and modesty, and that you should respect that. Keep your distance unless they explicitly request or require your assistance, and make a conscious effort to look the other way while they are getting dressed. If you are assisting them in getting dressed, avoid looking at their private areas during the process.
Don’t assume that your subordinate requires assistance getting dressed. Before you start, find out if they are comfortable with the idea of putting their own clothes on.
8. Please be considerate of their personal space and boundaries. Do not rummage through your charge’s clothing or other personal belongings without his or her consent. In the event that you need to look for something in the room, ask your ward first. Even if your intentions are good, it will appear rude if you go through their belongings without their consent.
Always check with them first before looking through or touching their personal belongings. Try something like this: “I was hoping to wipe the top of your dresser down.” Could I get permission to move these pictures to the side for a moment?
9. Identify any instances of physical pain or discomfort in a discreet manner. Take note of any physical tics that your charge exhibits. If your charge is experiencing discomfort, they may be embarrassed or unwilling to admit it; in these cases, you may need to initiate the conversation. Instead of jumping to conclusions, politely inquire about your ward’s well-being and whether or not there is anything you can do to assist him or her.
As an example, if your subject is suffering from chronic pain, they might wince. If your ward does not express how they are feeling, you can ask them something like, “Would you like me to get you a heating pad?”
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