Roles and Responsibilities You Can Expect as a Professional Caregiver
A professional caregiver is just like any other job. There are responsibilities, duties, and protocol to be followed each day. I learned a lot during my caregiving training courses, but nothing could prepare me for exactly what I needed to do. Don’t worry. There is flexibility when it comes to your roles and responsibilities. I’ve outlined a guide for what to expect during your first day on the job.
It is important to be appropriately dressed and maintain good hygiene. Remember, you are a direct representation of your employer and how you look reflects back on the company. Close toed shoes are a must and should be comfortable.I also recommend packing a change of clothes especially if you have multiple clients or a long work day. You can’t guarantee that you will stay clean, so it's better to be prepared for any situation.
Make sure you arrive 10-15 minutes early to your client’s house. There will be someone there to help you get familiar with both the elderly individual and their schedule. Familiarize yourself with the house and make sure to ask questions or clarify tasks if you are unsure.
Duties and Responsibilities
Assisting with Personal Care: You will most likely need to help with dressing, bathing, and grooming for your clients. It's important to be patient and reassure them through the process. A lot of elderly individuals feel stripped of their independence when they can not help themselves anymore. PRO TIP: For gals, ask them if they want their nails painted or help applying lipstick.
Meal Preparation: Preparing meals or helping with cooking will most likely be on your to-do list. Make sure you adhere to dietary regulations which will be provided to you in the beginning.
Transportation Services: You may need to run errands, take your senior client to the doctor, or even shopping. If their health permits, bring them along with you! It helps to combat feelings of loneliness.
Administer Medication: You will be responsible for administering required medication to your patients. Familiarize yourself with the medicine and the times you will need to administer it. It is important to make sure you follow the medication schedule to avoid complications.
Health Monitoring: In addition to administering medicine, you will also need to make a note of your patient’s health status throughout the day and document any changes or concerns. You are acting as a middleman between the client and their doctor so it is best to make a note of any and all health-related concerns that you become aware of. I also make sure to document any severe mood changes as this could be a direct effect of their medication. If you are responsible for accompanying your client to doctors appointments, present your findings to the doctor and make sure to ask for any updates or changes to the plan of care.
Alzheimer's and Dementia Care: Many of your clients may suffer from memory-loss conditions and can be severely disoriented. It is your job to make them feel comfortable as possible. For your first day, introduce yourself to the client and spend some time getting to know them. Making them feel at ease can help them avoid symptoms such as aggression and will make the day run smoother for the both of you. As I mentioned before, you are the middleman, so be sure to relay any changes in health or mood to both doctors as well as family members. You should be provided with a list of contacts but if you are not, reach out to your care agency to obtain these resources.
Remember, no two days are the same as a professional caregiver. However, keeping an open mind and taking extra time to make sure you’re prepared can make all the difference in the world. If you still have questions you can visit our FAQ section on our website. If you are interested in becoming a professional caregiver, give us a call at 609-416-2442 to learn more about our training programs!