Managing The Care In Your Life
fter experiencing a change in life, it is important to surround yourself with the support that enables you and those around you, a quality of life that you deserve. It can be different for everyone, and one thing for sure is that circumstances can change very quickly. When managing your care these are the five questions you should ask yourself prior to engaging carers.
What type of care do you require?
Everyone's care needs are different, and in most cases, you should have a care and functional assessment prior to discharge or before any change in life. Recognising your care requirements, and taking responsibility for your own care is the first step. Often the transition to care can be difficult, and it takes time to get the right support in place. We are blessed as a society to have the government support through the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and funding is generally now available to meet requirements of those living with a disability. After funding is secured, making a choice on your care provider can be overwhelming and a critical step towards your independence.
What are your priorities, and how do you identify them?
You must have clear priorities when establishing a care plan, and it is important to plan for your most difficult day. This can be difficult yet creating plans, and identifying your priorities that support you on your hardest days, leave you in a situation when you have plenty of support on your better days. One of my priorities is making time for myself. I have a range of activities I reward myself with on my good days, which encourages me to stay healthy and in control. It could be going out for coffee when I get up early, spending some time in the sun or having a carer cook a big breakfast for me.
What are your key requirements in a Carer?
The characteristics I look for in a Home Carer is someone that is patient and kind. You can generally train carers to do your care, whatever that looks like, yet it is very difficult to train a carer to have patience or empathy. It is important that you highlight your boundaries for a Carer. Encourage them to ask questions, read notes and follow directions. Having a handbook is useful. It does not have to be anything flash…. even some hand-written notes that you can give the Carer. He or she may have several different clients and even if your situation is similar to another client, there will be differences that need to be respected. Everyone's care is personal, and there is no right or wrong way to do thing.
How do you need to be flexible with Carers?
One thing to remember is that Carers work in many difficult environments and can be faced with situations in every shift that can make them uncomfortable, doubt their ability and even test their patience. We need to find our boundaries with carers, and not to cross them. Remind yourself that your home is their workplace. Balancing the two can be difficult, which is why constant communication, planning and reviews are essential. I make a point to speak with my Carers every week about how they are going, I communicate any issues I'm experiencing and try to keep on top of my relationships with all Carers, albeit they look very different.
How do you deal with emotions within the family towards Carers?
A family home can be one of the most difficult environments to work in. Family dynamics, relationship stress and disability care needs, managing interactions between family members and carers is very important. Establish boundaries in the role of the carer and be clear on expectations when it comes to dealing with partners and children. This is a complex area, and I encourage people to seek external support or mediation when relationships become strained between family members and carers.
Carers and support workers can be the greatest gift, respecting and being clear with your expectations will lead to a healthy relationship and a more fruitful family life
Living with a disability it can be difficult to define independence. Carers can be a great conduit to independence and enable you to pursue your dreams and have confidence and peace of mind throughout your day.
As stressful and daunting as the process of finding a Carer can seem, you will know the right fit for you and your family when you find them. Being one of the most requested consultations that we receive at Insite Digital, my team and I assist our clients through this process regularly. A few options that I recommend to my clients are Spinal Life Australia or Blue Care. If you have taken the leap to self managing or this is something you are considering however, there are other fantastic options like Mable out there. Take your time, do your research and above all else, trust your gut. If you need assistance getting started on your journey or are feeling a little lost, I'm always here to help.
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