The most recent Canadian census indicates the number of seniors (over age 65) outnumbers the number of children younger than fourteen1. Based on 2017 census data, Canada’s senior population over age 65 surpassed six million people, more than triple the number from 19972. In the next 20 years, the aging population across the nation is expected to grow by nearly 70%! As the population of seniors continues to rise, so does the number of seniors who choose to age in place. Remaining in their homes throughout their golden years is a life goal. A recent survey on aging in place indicates more than 78% of Canadians want to age in place3.
Unfortunately, there is a significant gap between the number of Canadian seniors who want to age in place and those who believe they will accomplish this goal. Engaging a caregiver's help allows more seniors the ability to remain safely in their home environments while reducing safety and security risks that could impact their overall health and well-being.
For many senior Canadians who want to age in place or are currently enjoying remaining in their homes, home health care is a vital part of maintaining safety. Caregivers can help with a range of household and self-care tasks that would be challenging without a little extra help. These include assisting with housekeeping, transportation, essential personal care, companionship, or other needed tasks. An effective caregiver can provide seniors with the ability to live in their homes as long as possible while providing peace of mind and comfort to their families and loved ones.
Tips for Effective Caregiving
Being an effective caregiver requires providing care and compassion to seniors but yourself as well. Below are tips you can use to provide effective care as a paid caregiver.
Organization is Important
An effective caregiver is vital to helping seniors maintain organization. Seniors have many things to remember. They may have weekly appointments and daily medications to manage. Keeping track of everything can be a complication. This is especially true for seniors who struggle with cognitive challenges. It may also be beneficial for family members of the senior you care for to keep a journal. You may wish to use a paper journal or an electronic app to keep notes about things family members or medical providers may want to know.
Compassion is an Essential Trait
Some people are naturally compassionate and empathetic. These are often the individuals who gravitate towards caregiving roles. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon to experience burnout. Caregivers find they often absorb the challenges or pain of those they care for. This can lead to a range of personal emotional struggles. It is essential to take time to care for yourself so you can adequately care for others.
When you are a paid caregiver, communication is crucial to your relationship with the senior and their family. As a caregiver, you will see things family members will not. You will need to effectively communicate with providers, family members, and other caretakers to provide information and updates. You will also need to communicate with your client in the most effective way for them. Even if your client is non-verbal, you must find ways to relay thoughts and information. This means you will need clear communication skills, both verbal and written.
Practice Interpersonal Skills
As a senior caregiver, you will interact with people every day. Being social and feeling comfortable with socializing is vital to your relationship with others. Social skills can help you build trust and nurture a strong and supportive relationship with your clients. These skills will help you emotionally and help your clients by decreasing feelings of isolation and loneliness.
Caregivers Need Patience and Flexibility
As seniors age, medical and mental health challenges can worsen. This means caregivers may need to manage a range of concerns. Some typical examples include communication struggles and mood changes. As cognitive change occurs, your client may struggle with emotional challenges that can be frustrating. A calm, caring, and compassionate outlook is vital to managing these situations. Also, flexibility is necessary. Your client's condition (medical or psychological) can change from day to day. You must have flexibility so you can adapt to their changing needs.
For many seniors who want to age in place, caregiving services are essential. The services of a caregiver can allow seniors to remain safely in their homes well beyond what would be possible without these benefits. Caregivers provide significant benefits in a variety of ways. If you would like to learn more about being a paid caregiver, visit our online resource center to learn more about jobs available in your area. Our booking services can connect you to dozens of potential clients who can benefit from your desire to provide care and support to local seniors.