Becoming a caregiver is often a labor of love. What other job allows you to help people each and every day, making sure they enjoy the best quality of life possible, and forming close bonds with the loved ones you spend time with?
However, it also brings with it a range of challenging caregiver responsibilities. Supporting your recipient of care is a serious task, not to be taken lightly. So what really goes into it?
What to expect as a family caregiver
At Best Care, we believe caregivers should be compensated for their hard work. That means our employees enjoy a competitive rate of pay, starting at $13.25 for most employees.
In return, you’ll embark on a role that can be very rewarding. Being a family caregiver gives you the opportunity to make a major impact on a loved one’s life, and to be a source of support for your family.
What are the responsibilities of a caregiver?
The first main area of responsibility for a Personal Care Assistant (PCA) is to help the recipient of care with personal care tasks, such as any grooming and hygiene tasks that the person can’t manage alone, ranging from bathing and shaving to brushing hair and teeth.
A big part of being a PCA is being a companion to the recipient and helping the person feel good on a daily basis, so little extras like painting their nails or special hairstyles can really brighten up someone’s day.
Some recipients of care are no longer able to drive or manage mobility, so the duties of a PCA can also extend to helping the person get around. Organizing a ride to the hospital or to make a social visit are just a few examples of how to help people move around from place to place.
Home care duties can also go beyond caring for the recipient and extend to doing tasks around the house to help maintain a good quality of life. For example, a PCA might take care of laundry, meal preparation, or basic cleaning tasks around the home, like dusting or vacuuming.
However, there are some things that are not the responsibilities of a caregiver. For example, unless you are given explicit instruction from a medical professional, you are not supposed to administer medication or offer any sort of medical diagnosis.
Above all else, the most important task of a caregiver is ultimately to improve the quality of life for the recipient of care. All of the above responsibilities can vary according to the individual. Be sure to simply listen to the needs and desires of your loved one, as these may change.
How do you take care of yourself as a family caregiver?
Given how demanding it can be to provide home care, especially when dealing with a close friend or family member, many caregivers sacrifice their own well-being for others. To provide the best home care, however, balance is needed! You can’t take good care of anyone else unless you take care of yourself as well.
Focus on making sure you are eating right and getting at least 20 minutes of exercise a day. Even just taking 20 minutes to head out for a walk before starting your workday can be huge.
Always make sure you have someone to talk to as well, such as someone who understands your regular stresses and concerns. There are plenty of support groups that are meant especially for caregivers, and provide a space to talk openly about daily struggles. Having someone to vent and talk to is always helpful with stress.
How can Best Care help?
At Best Care, we recognize the importance of supporting and empowering caregivers. Whether you’re a friend or family member who is currently providing in-home care for a senior parent or disabled loved one without compensation, an active Personal Care Assistant looking to work with an established home care agency, or someone who is not yet a PCA and wants to pursue a career in personal care services, we’re glad you are here!
With a team of expert care managers, extensive training resources, and advanced administrative technology, Best Care exists to make your caregiving work easier. From tools like our Timesheet App that reduce the time you need to spend on paper, to ongoing support from our dedicated team.
For more information on what it takes to become a PCA, why not speak to a member of the Best Care team? They are more than happy to answer any questions you might have about what it’s like to be a caregiver!