Home caregiving can have a huge impact on the quality of life for seniors and other people who are in some way disabled, either temporarily or because of some permanent condition. Providing quality care in a home setting can be enormously beneficial for a patient in these circumstances, and you can personally play a role in making someone’s life much more enjoyable in the role of professional caregiver.
There are many reasons why becoming a professional caregiver can be beneficial and advantageous to your own life, but one of the most important of these is in the way you can provide a really meaningful and appreciated contribution to the life of someone who needs your assistance. If you are considering a change of careers, or are just starting out as a member of the workforce, consider becoming a home caregiver, both for the personal satisfaction you will derive and for the many ways you can help make life better for those you care for.
Enabling Residence at Home
One of the first big benefits you will be providing to a senior or disabled person is allowing them to stay in a setting which they most appreciate – their home. Statistics tell us that more than 90% of all senior patients requiring some kind of care prefer to remain in the home where they have spent a significant portion of their lives, because the surroundings are very familiar, and because the home generally has many happy memories associated with it. Receiving home care will allow many of these patients to remain in that cherished setting, and derive a daily sense of comfort and security from a place that has the most meaning to them.
Retention of Independence
Being at their own home also allows seniors to retain at least a degree of independence, as opposed to the regimented and controlled environment which might prevail at an assisted living facility. Almost all seniors, if given the choice, prefer to be able to do at least some things for themselves in a home setting, unless physical or mental constraints make that impossible. As a home caregiver, you can help a senior retain some level of independence by supplying help in the areas which a patient might not be able to handle personally and allowing them to manage those things on their own which they feel capable of.
Companionship and Caring
Loneliness is one of the most prevalent conditions which affect aging members of our society, often because loved ones have moved away to embark on their own lives, or simply because contemporaries have passed away. This situation is especially acute when a spouse has passed away, leaving a partner without the companionship and caring that was there for so many years. While home caregiving cannot fully restore that kind of relationship for a patient, it can still be extremely beneficial to a senior in such circumstances to have a daily companion to talk with and share some experiences, even if these are relatively light. Simply watching television together, taking a walk around the neighborhood, or reminiscing about happier times can bring a twinkle to the eye of a senior who might otherwise be subject to ongoing loneliness.
Physical and Mental Fitness
One of the most important contributions you might make as a home caregiver to a senior living at home is to help as much as possible with the maintenance of physical and mental fitness. The physical part will, of course, be constrained by whatever level of fitness a senior might already be in, but any kind of physical activity which you can promote and share with your charge can help the immune system, and enhance their enjoyment of the world around them. This doesn’t have to involve anything strenuous – it can be simple things like light aerobics, gardening outdoors, taking a walk, or even doing household chores together.
The mental aspect of a senior’s life might also be subject to certain conditions, especially if any kind of cognitive impairment has occurred. But to whatever level your senior charge is capable of, you can help to maintain and improve mental awareness as well. One great way you can do this is to regularly ask your patient to talk about things they know, or about experiences from their past. This will help to keep them mentally active and will engage many of the cognitive processes that contribute to alertness, concentration capability, and memory retention.
As you can see, there are a number of ways that the quality of life can be improved for a senior or homebound person, just by your presence and caring. If you’re the kind of person who feels good about helping others, and about giving others the chance to enjoy life a little bit more than they could without you, then caregiving is a profession which you should give some serious thought to. There is someone out there right now who is waiting for you to make that important decision.