Thursday, March 28, 2013

A NEW ATTITUDE

Being a caregiver is the most important job a person can have.  It seems to me that sometimes many caregivers forget that.  They come to work with their own agenda of taking personal phone calls and watching television.

I can't count the number of times rude comments have been made to me.  Comments regarding my weight and the tone of my voice have been particularly hurtful. 

The last instance was just two weeks ago. A caregiver blurted out that I was getting harder to handle.  It wasn't the fact that she said it, it was the way she said it that was hurtful.  I do all I can to keep my weight down.  I'm well aware of the fact that because I'm unable to assist a caregiver very much,when they are transferring me, that it may seem like I'm heavier that I actually am.  I ask that my caregivers wear a back brace for their protection and mine.  Some do, some don't.   I have shown the caregiver who complained about my weight, ways to move me that are easier on her back. I have asked the caregiver to wear a back brace whenever she's assisting me. Things are much better now.

A caregiver once told me my voice was annoying.  She told me she would record my voice on her phone so that i could hear just how annoying it was.  When I reported  this incident to the agency, the caregiver was replaced.  The entire incident was caused because I'd reduced my hours and the caregiver wanted more hours.  She got the hours she wanted. The caregiver was rewarded for her unprofessional behavior rather than being reprimanded.

I have had caregivers who didn't like to be awakened at night.  And, they let me know it. If you are a caregiver working nights, your job is to be there for your client, not just to sleep. Make sure you get a little rest before your shift begins.

I have written two other posts regarding caregivers.  I didn't plan to write another because I don't want it to ever seem like I'm bashing home care agencies or the caregivers they employ.  That couldn't be further from the truth.   By writing about some of my experiences, over the past seven years, I'm trying to make things better for both the client and the caregiver.

Caregivers should remember to always speak to their clients in a kind and respectful manner. It's not a client's fault if a caregiver is tired or is dealing with personal issues.

Caregivers should keep cell phone use to a minimum when they are working.. 

If a problem occurs, the agency should find a solution, not just replace someone..  It's hard getting used to a new caregiver. It is also hard for a caregiver to get used to a new client.

I've said in a previous post that my biggest wish would be that agencies allow clients to evaluate caregivers. 

 I've also said that caregivers work long hours sometimes.  Home care is costly.  Caregivers, however, are underpaid for what they do. 

It's okay if a caregiver makes a few phone calls and watches a little television throughout the day.  I want my caregivers to have a pleasant experience.   But, caregivers should always make sure they talk to a client and check on them regularly to see if they need anything.

Caregivers should let their clients know they care. And, during the hours they are with a client, the client should be their number one priority.