Care For The Caring – Making Friends With Your Caregiver

Care For The Caring - Making Friends With Your Caregiver

Your caregiver is one of the most important people in your assisted living facility or in-home care program. A caregiver will adapt to you in order to attend to all your needs. A good caregiver will look after you as if you are a member of their family, and it is natural for them to become fond of their patients. That is why a life of a caregiver can be difficult. They have to balance their professional role in your life with their growing familiarity with you. However, familiarity and friendliness between caregivers and patients can make the job more rewarding to both the patients and the caregiver.

Why Should You Get To Know Your Caregiver?

A caregiver is more than just a person who treats your small injuries, brings you medicine and cleans you up. They can provide you hours of companionship, and they have their own untold stories and interests. If you try to become nice with your caregiver, you can easily make one of the best friends of your lifetime. When a friendship grows, it makes their services more personal. You are not just another paycheck for them, and the caregiver is not a hand-for-hire to you. When you get to know your caregiver, it is more comforting for you to have a friend that sees you as a person in your time of need.


Few Ways You Can Get To Know Your Caregiver Better

Leisure Games

Card games, a game of dominoes, or chess can help create a bonding moment between you and your caregiver. Leisure games can work as icebreakers for your first few weeks together, since they are a very low-stakes opportunity for bonding, and then they even can turn into a weekly routine. Games are a great way to assess your caregiver’s personality. Some will let you win, while others are not good at games and don’t care. Some can be competitive and will keep playing until they best you. Does the caregiver enjoy your company? Does the caregiver wish to be doing something else during downtime? You can easily initiate leisure games if you are at home with a live-in caregiver, though it might be a little harder to do this if you are in an assisted living setting.

Share Memories

One of the best ways to get to know your caregiver is to share something memorable about yourself. Ask them to do the same. Elder people are rich with stories about all the great times they had. Share a few of your stories with your caregiver as a way to share facets of your life with them. You can measure the closeness of your relationship with your caregiver by which stories he or she  tells. You may even find stories you have in common: have you visited the same place in the past? do you have similar interests? etc.The more stories you share, the more opportunities you have to bond with your caregiver, and the more they know about your past, the better they can be at caring for you.


Do Not Criticize for Fun and Supply Compliments

A caregiver is human. That means he or she will have a bad day every now and then. Do not be overly critical when your caregiver makes a mistake. When your caregiver is in a bad mood, try to lift them up. It is your way of caregiving. Most of the time a bad mood is related to something that is happening in your caregiver’s personal life. Ask them if they want or need to talk about it. If they are comfortable sharing, see if you can relate to the problem and find a way to offer your advice if they are open to it. You might just be able to put a smile on their face or help them through a difficult moment. Also, remember to compliment your caregiver by recognizing their efforts when they do something well. You can take care of them in some ways, just like they take care of you.

Laugh at Yourself

Senior care or elder care can be a draining career choice. People are often suffering from serious illnesses, and it can be dreary times for a caregiver.  If you learn how to poke fun at yourself, you can lift up your caregiver’s spirits as well as your own. Plus, it is a great way to make a new friend. A little laughter can help along in the bonding process. Jokes can be simple or elaborate. whatever works best for you and your caregiver. This method does not work for everyone, so if you uncomfortable, skip this option. You can find many other ways to lighten the mood and joke around with your caregiver.


Small Gestures or Gifts

You are not buying your caregiver’s affection if you do this. This is one way to show your caregiver that you listen to them, appreciate their work, and value their presence. If they have an interest or passion, buy a gift that reflects that you have heard them and that your caregiver is more than a hired hand. Caregiving can either be a personal job or an impersonal job. A small gesture or gift tells your caregiver that you are thankful they are taking the personal approach to their work. You do not always have to buy a gift either — sometimes a simple card is all that is needed to express your gratitude. Giving a gift or gesture within reason is often the best way to foster the bond you have created.

These five ways of getting to know your caregiver are just a few that make your relationship with them much better in the long run. Try one, two, or all of them, and come up with your own — before you know it, you just might have a new friend at this new stage in life!