Caregivers: The Very Definition of Hero
Merriam-Webster defines a hero as “a person who is admired for great or brave acts or fine qualities”. Other definitions talk about a hero as a real person or fictional character who, in the face of danger, combats adversity through feats of ingenuity, courage or strength. We generally associate a hero with distinguished courage or ability, admired for brave deeds and noble qualities.
Well, we work with caregivers every day, both our care team members and family caregivers, and we know they live out these qualities. Their work is noble. What could be more noble than supporting and caring for people who need assistance with daily living? Helping those who need it most?
Caregivers’ Heroic Traits
Caregivers must bring the qualities of patience, strength, and creativity to their tasks. Often, no one thanks them for their efforts (though we always try to remember to demonstrate our appreciation for our EasyLiving care team members!).
Caregivers face all kinds of adversity. When they walk into the job each day (which in itself can be an uncertain environment, going into different homes), they never know what the day will bring. Will their client be feeling depressed and anxious because of all the loss they’re facing? The caregiver may need to be reassuring and calming. Their client might act out these feelings by refusing to take a bath or cooperate with other tasks. A client might be having a bad day physically or not be able to express that they’re feeling pain. Caregivers have to know how to be empathetic in these circumstances, while also cleverly finding proactive ways to turn the situation around.
This is a career that requires a lot of ingenuity. If you have spent a little time with a person with Alzheimer’s disease, for example, you can imagine just how creative caregivers have to get some days. They have to figure out ways to get things accomplished and keep the client safe and healthy. And, they also manage to bring joy and a smile to their clients through all this.
Caregivers, Our Essential Heroes
The term “essential worker” became commonplace due to the pandemic. And, caregivers, naturally, have been among this group. Caregivers have always been essential to those they help, their families, and society in general.
Caregiving is 24/7, it does not end at the weekend or stop for holidays or whatever challenges life brings. Caregivers are more essential than ever at these times, actually. How many of us count on caregivers to take care of our older loved ones, even in the worst of societal and personal turmoil? Many families have felt this especially during the pandemic, when unable to visit or travel to see loved ones. We’ve all come to realize more starkly just how much we rely on these essential heroes.
This is one reason why a care team is so important. Caregivers need to be prepared with the best tools and support for the essential work they do. They need a break to stay fresh and be able to continue bringing their strength, creativity and kindness to the work they do.
We also created a Caregivers Community on Facebook because we know how lonely it can be to care for an aging loved one. If you are a caregiver, come join us to share stories, ask for help, find resources and more.
Caregivers Are the Unsung Heroes of the Healthcare System
As Dr. Ronald Adelman said: “Caregivers are the unsung heroes of the healthcare system. They are the glue and the heart of healthcare.” A doctor can prescribe treatment, but a caregiver helps make sure it is carried out. And, they ensure that the person has all the other support they need to stay healthy. Caregivers are the eyes and ears for healthcare professionals and family members who can’t be there all the time.
Caregivers make sure clients take their medications, eat properly, and drink enough water. They help them to the bathroom, assist with bathing, and keep them from falling or getting injured. Without a caregiver, many clients wouldn’t be able to get to appointments or manage their daily needs.
Read more about the ways caregivers can help improve health outcomes: “How Home Care is Transforming Healthcare”.
To be a great caregiver you need to be supported by a great team. That is exactly what you’ll get by choosing EasyLiving. Our mission is to set every caregiver up for success, empowering them to provide the best home care in our community.