Being an In-Home Caregiver: What You Should Know for Your First Day
Becoming an in-home caregiver is a highly rewarding career choice that can offer a number of benefits. When you first get started, however, you might be a little nervous. What will really be expected of you? How can you build a relationship with clients and discover what they really need, rather than feeling as though you’re constantly a little out of step? Over time, you’ll become more comfortable in your job and be able to more intuitively deal with any concerns that may arise. On your first day, however, go in with the knowledge that you’re prepared for whatever the day throws at you with these tips.
Plan Ahead for Travel Time
Before you head in for the first day–or the first day with any new client–it’s important to know where you’re going and how long you can expect it to take to get there. Your client is expecting you at a specific time, and you want to make a good impression. Map out your route to make sure that you’re prepared for traffic, potential delays, and other concerns.
Pay Attention to the Time
You want to make a great first impression on your client on their family, so you show up bright and early, ready to get down to business. Unfortunately, there are times when this can work against you: your client may still be asleep or busy with some other activity. Of course, you should never be late, either! Showing up around 10-15 minutes early creates a great window that works for both you and your clients.
Check Your Dress
You’ve read through the dress code for your employer several times. In some cases, you may head in for the job wearing scrubs. Other jobs may allow you to wear more comfortable street clothes. Check the dress code to make sure that you’re dressed neatly and appropriately. Avoiding clothing with words or slogans can help set you apart as a professional and ensure that you’re unlikely to offend.
You’ve been provided with a care brief that will let you know about your client’s medical needs. You may even have a brief survey of their interests and personality. That’s no substitute, however, for getting to know your client yourself. Sit down and have a conversation with your client first thing. Take the time to get to know them. Many seniors have fascinating stories to share about a long lifetime, and sitting and listening is a great way to learn more about them and develop a deeper relationship. In that initial conversation, take care to address your client by Mr./Ms. and their last name unless you’re instructed otherwise. This helps keep a level of professionalism in place. Of course, as you get better acquainted, your client may request that you call them by their first name or a nickname–and this is a great step in the right direction! You will also be able to learn a lot more about your client’s personal needs to ensure that their in- home care plan is catered to them specifically.
Planning Nutritional Needs
When you become a caregiver, you are responsible for a wide variety of tasks. This may include planning and preparing meals for your client. As you’re getting to know them, discuss their likes and dislikes: the types of food they enjoy, the types of food they don’t like, and any nutritional requirements. Make sure you know how food will be purchased and who is responsible for those purchasing decisions so that you can communicate any needs to them effectively. Getting to know each other over food is a great way to learn more about your new client!
As you move through that important first day, you’ll likely discover that caregiving, while demanding, is also highly rewarding. Developing a relationship with your client won’t happen overnight, but the impression you make on the first day is an important step in the right direction. Ready to start your career as a caregiver? Contact us today to learn more about the amazing career opportunities we can provide.