Caring for our loved ones
has been a daunting task, a humbling experience, and a gratifying resolution that we have had to face from the beginning of time. I am here to listen, answer, and teach you whatever you need to know to be the ultimate caregiver.
Back in the ’60s and ’70s, one parent worked and the other stayed home to care for the kids and grandparents. In the ’80s, both mother and father had to work to make ends meet. Now in the twenty-first century, kids have to help care and support their parents and even their grandparents. Kids have to leave to go to other states to find adequate work, leaving the parents to fend for themselves or hire outside help. It’s so hard to know who is right or whom to trust.
FUNDAMENTALS OF CARE
- SANCTUARY—Protect yourself and keep your patient safe from harm by preventing injuries.
- CONFIDENTIALITY—With the agreement of your patient, keep his or her business private; do not allow private things to be seen or overheard by other people.
- MORALITY—Treat your patient with respect at all times.
- ARTICULATION—Be available to talk, listen, and respond to your patient’s thoughts and feelings. Explain everything as you go.
- SELF-SUFFICIENCY—Encourage your patient to do as much as possible.
- IMPURITY MANAGEMENT—Help control the spread of germs by following Universal Precautions. Following Universal, Precautions means that you should treat all blood and certain body fluids as if they are known to be infectious. Take precautions to protect yourself and your patient from getting an infection by wearing disposable gloves when performing certain tasks in which you may come in contact with your patient’s blood or other body fluids.
RULES TO CARE BY
- BE A GOOD AUDIENCE—Try to stop what you are doing, no matter how important it is, and listen to what the person says. Talking may be your patient’s greatest need at the moment.
- BE HONORABLE—Do not gossip about your patient with the rest of your family or friends. Respect your loved one’s privacy.
- BE RELIABLE—Do what you say you are going to do when you say you will do it.
- DO NOT BE FOOLED BY THE ILL-TEMPERED—Remember that your patient may be angry at his illness or condition, not to you. Do not take the anger personally and do not let it affect the kind of care you provide.
- MANAGE YOUR FEELINGS—You will likely have strong emotions as you care for your patient. Find someone you can talk to, such as a counselor in a community organization or a support group. Arrange to take a break from caregiving when you feel overwhelmed.
CARING FOR THE PATIENT
- ARGUE rather AGREE
- REASON rather DIVERT
- SHAME rather DISTRACT
- LECTURE rather REASSURE
- UTTER “REMEMBER” rather REMINISCE
- VERBALIZE “I TOLD YOU” rather REPEAT AGAIN
- MENTION “YOU CAN’T” rather DO WHAT YOU CAN
- COMMAND/DEMAND rather ASK/MODEL
- CONDESCEND rather ENCOURAGE/PRAISE
- FORCE rather REINFORCE