By Mary Flom
I think we can all agree that caregivers are pretty cool. In our line of work, we call them Life Guides. Why? Because they’ve been entrusted to guide and care for the life of the client they serve.
Imagine with me for a minute that all of a sudden you are now in a situation where you need someone to help you take of your everyday needs like cooking, cleaning, bathing, etc. You need a caregiver. You would probably want someone who is rude, selfish, lazy and irresponsible, right? FALSE. That is the opposite of what you would want. Ideally you would hope to have someone who is kind, compassionate, caring, good at listening, hard-working, responsible, and supportive.
That is why we love our caregivers. They have the biggest hearts and are so good at juggling many details and situations.
In honor of our Life Guides, we’ve put together an A to Z Caregiver Appreciation Guide. Enjoy!
A-Always Asking the right questions: Caregivers are great at asking the right questions. Asking the right questions helps you understand the person you are serving, and it gives the person you are serving a voice and a choice.
B-Better together: Caregivers are good at creating community and bringing people together. They know that it’s better to go somewhere together than it is to go alone.
C-Cornerstones: The cornerstone is the first stone set in the construction of a masonry foundation, important since all other stones will be set in reference to this stone, thus determining the position of the entire structure. Our caregivers are the cornerstones. Without them our company could not function and fulfill its purpose.
D-Dog walkers: Yes, it’s true. As a caregiver, you’ve probably had to walk a dog a time or two. Why? Because that’s what your client needed.
E- They make the effort. Caregivers show up every day and give of themselves.
F-Friendly: Caregivers are some of the friendliest individuals. They love people which is one of the reasons they work in this field.
G-They go the extra mile for their clients.
H-Happy to wait: Sometimes the tasks you are assigned as a caregiver require patience. You know that rushing your client or getting frustrated only hurts the relationship and the client.
I- In it to pin it (Have you heard of Pinterest?). Caregivers are so creative and innovative and they have the best ideas. Their mind is a virtual cork board of cool ideas.
J-Just when you think they’re going to give up, they keep going! Caregiving is hard work. It can be hard on your body, hard on your mind and hard on your emotions. If you’ve done it for a significant amount of time, you’ve probably contemplated a career change once or twice. Caregivers are so strong, so resilient and so good at pushing through even when it feels challenging.
K-Kind over being right: Caregivers know that it’s better to be kind than to be right. They put people first rather than their desire to be right (even if they are right!).
L-Laughing all the way: Caregivers are fun! They bring the fun, they create the fun and they help us laugh as we go.
M-Mountain climbers: They aren’t afraid of a challenge and are willing to go up the mountain with their clients and help them face any challenge they have to face.
N-They navigate difficult situations with grace and strength.
O-Open minded: They recognize that in order for all of us to get where we are going together, we have to be open minded and willing to consider ideas and beliefs that are different than our own.
P-Pro-active: They don’t wait for things to happen. They tackle issues and potential problems before they occur.
Q- Quitting is not an option: They are invested in their clients lives and some even consider them to be family members. We have caregivers that have been with their clients for 10+ years!
R- Really really ridiculously good at details: Caregivers manage so many details and their brains are wired to keep track of it all. We count on their organizational skills.
S- Super supportive. They know how to come along side and provide support wherever and whenever it’s needed. They step in at a moment’s notice to fill needs.
T-They provide tailored services. They leverage their skills and knowledge to provide the right services for each client they work with.
U-Unbelievably hard working: Caregivers put in the time and effort day after day. They aren’t afraid of hard work and they set the bar for all of us.
V-Celebrate Victories: Caregivers help navigate the challenging aspects of life and celebrate every victory along the way no matter how big or small.
W-With you to the end: Caregivers are the ride or die people who will be with you to the end.
X-They are a Xenodochial group of people. We had to dust off the dictionary for that one. We’ll give the first person who can tell us what that means a special prize.
Y-They yield results and get it done. They are the people you want on your team.
Z-Professional zig zaggers: Caregivers are flexible and able to adjust at a moment’s notice.