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Caregiver Contest Finalist Lance: Put Yourself in Their Shoes

Aimee Sharp
Author | Shield HealthCare
10/08/18  3:06 PM PST
put yourself in their shoes

Lance C. is from California, and was one of forty finalists chosen out of the over 1,000 entries to our “What Advice Would You Give to a Fellow Caregiver?” Contest. You can find our grand prize and runner up winners here.

What advice would you give a fellow caregiver?

I’ve been a caregiver now for almost three years. The person I care for just so happens to be a longtime friend – Tracy and I have been friends since Little League. Tracy was injured in a diving accident in high school and broke his neck. Knowing Tracy and the outgoing person he was, the new transition was not going to be easy. Fast forward to present day, we’re both now in our mid-fifties and doing well. It was four years ago, that I too needed a new start – Tracy had a room available, so I moved in. At this time, I was able to observe the people responsible for Tracy’s care. I was disappointed often, in what I saw. That is when I knew, right then, what my new start would be. Now I’m Tracy’s nighttime caregiver and here is my advice:

Remember in most cases our patients were able-bodied people and they may have resentment or, in some way, be ashamed of their current condition. This might make them appear angry and or rude towards you. Try not to take it personally –instead try this: put yourself in their shoes, how would
you be feeling?

It is important to be punctual and consistent in your care. This will show that their time and your care is important to you. See what makes your client happy, take a little time to talk and have them share stories with you. You will soon find what it is that makes them smile, maybe it’s music or the arts that they truly enjoy. Then take that information and incorporate it into their lives. This can be done so easily with today’s technology. Maybe it’s plants and the outdoors that strikes their interest. If possible, involve them into the outdoors, maybe planting of a few flowers or a small vegetable garden. Or perhaps it is painting or drawing. Create an area where they can do simple art projects – this can make a huge impact in their self being and perhaps create an emotion in your client that has been missing in them for some time. It might be that they simply like to share old memories of the past and to have someone to hear about their life experiences. Ask them if they have old photographs they could share with you. I know for a fact this makes Tracy smile. Many may enjoy pets and animals and may not be able to care for them any longer. Maybe a visit from a pet or animal you know of could make their day special. Maybe they used to cook, and this was a passion – try to incorporate meals where they decide on the menu and how the meal is prepared.

It takes a special person to care for others who are in need of care. But most importantly: listen and try to learn from the person your caring for, be honest, loyal and true and you will succeed in obtaining their trust and loyalty towards you. This, I know, will make you a better caretaker. Thank you for caring.

Click here to head to the contest home page and read more advice.

Finalists were selected by the Marketing Team at Shield HealthCare. Those finalists were submitted to a panel of independent judges who picked three grand prize winners and five runners up. The judges included: Sandra Mitchell, Award-winning KCAL 9 news anchor and breast cancer survivor, and the Landers family: actor and comedian David Landers (“Laverne & Shirley”) who is living with MS, his wife Kathy and his daughter Natalie (“The Middle”). Click here to learn more.


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