When you take your first job as a caregiver with a home care company, you have a great number of skills and policies to learn and follow. Most of the training you receive focuses on clients who live in their own family home. However, many home caregivers will also work with clients who reside in independent living centers. While much of your job will remain the same, there a few key differences when working with a client in an independent living center rather than a private residence. So, in order to be successful when working with an independent living client, get to know these important differences.
You Need To Be Aware Of The Facility Policies
When you walk into the independent living facility for your first shift, you will become acutely aware that you are entering another company's workplace with its own set of policies and rules. You will be asked to sign in and out any time you visit your client, for example.
Be sure to get to know the essential policies that your client's facility maintains. Be respectful of those policies and do as you are asked (within reason, of course).
Meal times and offerings are determined by the facility as well. Your independent living client will have their own kitchen, but they also have access to the facility's dining services should they choose to do so. Some facilities will also allow you to dine alongside your client, but you need to ask to ensure this is allowed. Each facility differs in their policies for visiting diners.
Be Respectful Of Other Residents
When you work with a client in their private residence, the only person you need to worry about or think about is your client. This means that the hour of day that tasks are completed does not matter as long as your client is not disturbed.
However, when you work in an independent living center, you will also need to be aware of and respectful of the other residents. This means that you do not take out the trash, vacuum, or perform other potentially noisy tasks at night when the sound might carry to the apartments of other residents.
Know What To Do In Case Of Emergency
When working in a private residence, you logically know what to do in the case of an emergency medical situation. You call 9-1-1 and you perform CPR or other first aid tasks until paramedics arrive.
However, in an independent living center, you may have other policies to follow. Generally speaking, your client will have an emergency alert button that they either wear on their person at all times, or they will have a panic button in their apartment.
The first step you will need to take is to hit that button. This notifies the facility that your client needs medical assistance. Generally, they will be the ones who contact emergency services on behalf of your client and will enter the apartment to attend to your client's needs. Be sure to go over emergency policies with facility employees when you start working with your independent living client.
Working as a caregiver with a client in an independent living facility, like Mayfair Village Retirement Community, is in many ways the same as working with a client in a private residence. However, you need to be mindful of the key differences between the two so that you can provide your client with the best care possible.