Stuck at home these days, many of us are finding ourselves having to take on new roles that we would otherwise pay someone else to fill. And this can be a little scary to do without positive guidance.
If you’ve suddenly found yourself having to act as a family caregiver, here are 6 tips and tricks of the trade.
Write things down.
When you’re caring for someone else, it’s important to stay organized. It’s all too easy to forget someone else’s schedule, so make things simple for yourself and write things down.
If you prefer typing that’s cool too.
Just having a mapped-out list of what needs to be done and when can easily knock down the stress levels a few notches.
Automate as much as possible.
Another easy way to keep track of everything is to set up daily reminders. There are a ton of apps out there that can help with medication scheduling, appointment tracking, as well as just general to-do list entries.
These apps will not only help remind you of what needs to be done, but also give you the extra push to get up and get going.
Don’t be afraid to ask for outside help.
One of the biggest mistakes new caregivers make is thinking that they have to take care of everything themselves.
But the truth is, there are plenty of people able and willing to help. If you’re getting overwhelmed, stressed, or just want some guidance- don’t be afraid to ask for outside help.
Call up friends, family, or professional home care aides. And, don’t let yourself get to a mental breaking point before you do so.
Asking for help demonstrates responsibility and caring.
Schedule family time.
It’s easy to get so wrapped up in the work of caregiving, that you start to ignore the fun of it.
Caregiving is a remarkable task that lets you care, bond, and connect with your senior. If you’re not enjoying the work you do, you’re missing out on the core of caregiving.
To rekindle the spark, schedule some fun family time. This could be watching some TV together in the evening, building a project together in the afternoons, or even just bonding over some old photos in the basement. The main idea is to find something you both enjoy and set aside quality time for each other.
Watch your health.
You’ve probably heard this before, but you can’t take care of others if you don’t take care of yourself.
Letting yourself get run down and weary is no way to treat yourself as a caregiver. If you want to give your senior the best care possible, then you have to be up for the challenge and in good spirits. And, in order to feel that way, you have to take care of your own health too.
This means, taking breaks when you need them, giving yourself some alone time to refresh, watching your diet and fitness, and being overall kind to yourself.
Which leads us to our last tip…
Speak to yourself with compassion.
If you missed something on your to-do list, or you just didn’t have time to get something done- don’t stress. The worst thing you can do is beat yourself up over something you’re only just getting the hang of. You wouldn’t do that to others, so don’t do that to yourself.
Instead, look at where you went wrong with a non-judgmental perspective. Understand what led you to make that mistake and learn from it. Then move on and give yourself some compassion.
Caregivers: Please be aware that beginning Sunday, March 22, 2020, all Septa routes will be operating on a Saturday schedule every day, until further notice. We urge you to go onto the Septa’s website, Septa.org, to determine what the schedules look like for you to reach your client’s destination on time. Please notify your Scheduling Coordinator if this will affect the on-time arrival to your scheduled shift. Thank you.
Transit service across the Delaware Valley are modifying their schedules due to the coronavirus outbreak. (as of 3/19/2020)
Septa will begin operating on a Saturday schedule starting Sunday, March 22. Schedules with Saturday service information are available at SEPTA.org
It’s really difficult to articulate the grief and anxiety we have all collectively felt over the past couple of months. From the ongoing pandemic, that seems to have no end in sight, to family, friends and neighbors losing their jobs. Lastly, the pattern of distrust in our public servants. I am sure I am not alone when thoughts percolate through my mind, while all these events transpire in real time, and frankly, it’s easy to be enraged and overly emotional. However, I am a firm believer in taking a moment for a deep breath, disengaging and listening to those that are suffering.
Like many of you, I was sickened by the public execution of George Floyd in Minneapolis. It’s all of our duties to do better and be empathetic. To listen to our fellow man and hear their concerns. Our public servants have a tough job, one that requires trust from the community. When that trust is fractured by a bad police officer, and others don’t care to listen, crazy things happen. That trust needs to be built from the bottom again. Change happens from the ground up. Drawing awareness and speaking loudly is critical, but then the tough work starts. Holding our public servants accountable, electing officials that will make concrete policy changes and giving the people (you!) a seat at the table.
Which is why, now more than ever, I am so proud of our mission. I really believe that in its core, we contribute in serving our communities, empowering our clients, our caregivers, providing them with concrete skills and laying the groundwork in their career paths. I am proud of our skills lab that we are rolling out, assisting our caregivers in becoming CPR certified, encouraging our employees to attain higher education. Taking the lead in educating our caregivers on how overtime is structured, what health insurance means, why a 401k is so important. For our clients, I am especially proud of the resources we help allocate, the independence we help them achieve and the risks we help mitigate with their health.
Finally, our direct caregiver workforce, our PCAs, CNAs, nurses and therapists. The amount of work, sacrifice and resolve in your everyday lives is truly a noble and sometimes thankless job. Thank you!
Everyone has their motivations but ultimately, having security, providing for our families and being a good citizen is something we all strive to achieve. Someone much smarter than me named Maya Angelou once said, “I think we all have empathy. We may not have enough courage to display it”. Those words are so powerful and optimistic. I remain optimistic that good change lies ahead, as long as we all have the courage display it.
Dear AmeriBest Caregivers,
As most of you know, the Governor has instructed all non-essential businesses to stay closed for the time being. AmeriBest is, however, an essential business and provides a service that now more than ever is so crucial to the health and well-being of our vulnerable patients.
While we realize what you do is so essential, we must continue to stay vigilant and follow best practices. Wearing personal protective equipment, washing your hands for 20 seconds, using hand sanitizer, not touching your face and coughing into a tissue are just a handful of precautions we can all take to limit the spread of COVID-19. Our goal is to always best serve our patients and keep them safe and comfortable in the comfort of their community and homes.
Also, please never hesitate to call our offices at 215-925-3313 to obtain an essential worker letter so you can go to work and provide care to patients. We have attached a letter for you to use should you be questioned about going to and from your patient’s home. You should always also have your ID on you to limit disruption. If you do not have an ID, please email or call our HR Department so we can mail or email an ID to you. If we do not have a photo, we will reach out to you for a picture to match to your ID identification you submitted on file and will then send you and ID.
In a time of such great anxiety and uncertainty, you have continued to be amazing and supportive to our mission in providing high-quality personal care services. I am not alone when I say how grateful for the work you are doing in our communities. Thank you now and thank you always!
Dear AmeriBest Caregivers,
Like everyone else, we are monitoring the COVID-19 situation very closely and understand the concerns and anxiety built around this new challenge to all of us. Our hearts and thoughts go out to all the people who have already been affected by this unprecedented event and we appreciate the healthcare workers, local communities, state and federal government who are on the front lines, working to contain this coronavirus. Please know that we are vigilantly monitoring the COVID-19 situation around the clock and have precautions in place to ensure that our patients and caregivers are in a safe environment.
Firstly, the Philadelphia Department of Public Health has activated the Greater Philadelphia Coronavirus Helpline.
That Helpline could be reached by calling 1-800-722-7112, and is a free resource, available 24/7 to anyone in the greater Philadelphia area. Here is what it could help you with:
Symptoms and risk factors for the coronavirus & what to do if you think you have been exposed
Recommendations for social distancing
Also, we ask that all employees cooperate in taking steps to reduce the transmission of communicable diseases and the spreading the COVID-19 virus. Here is what AmeriBest is currently doing:
Social Distancing – stay a “social distance” of 6 feet or more away from other people.
Increased office cleaning – we are working with building management to conduct thorough cleaning of our offices. Including but not limited to: wiping down keyboards, door handles, desk surfaces and installing hand sanitizer stations throughout the whole building.
Limit large gatherings – until further notice, we will cancel large meetings, lunches, trainings and other gatherings at the workplace. AmeriBest office is temporarily closed until further notice and the corporate staff is mobile.
Wash your hands! – wash your hands frequently with warm, soapy water for at least 20 seconds.
Use common sense – cover your mouth with tissues when you sneeze or cough, and discard used tissues in the trash. Use hand sanitizer, cleaning sprays and wipes constantly. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Stay home if you are sick or show symptoms of exposure.
Monitor developments – Monitor local & state departments and the CDC for additional developments.
Visit our website for more information.
We hope that these measures give you confidence that we are taking the necessary precautions in this evolving situation. We remain committed to providing you and your clients with quality service that you can depend on.
With that goal in mind, I implore that you wash your hands frequently and that you avoid patient contact if you are feeling under the weather.
For additional information about COVID-19, please read the latest report from the Centers for Disease Control at www.cdc.gov, your local health department website or visit our website at www.ameribesthomecare.com.
On behalf of everyone at AmeriBest Home Care, thank you for your hard work and dedication to helping your clients remain safe, healthy and independent in the comfort of their own homes.