In assisted living, pensioners benefit from a private, age-appropriate living situation, useful services as well as community activities. This way, senior residents can feel independent while experiencing safety and support. Sounds ideal for our elderly generation, doesn’t it? But what about the assisted living facility workers?
After all, more and more senior citizens seem to make use of such offers. However, there appears to be a shortage of nurses and carers that can actually take care of the elderly. Additionally, carers are constantly criticised as every relative seems to know best how to be a good carer.
We would like to give an insight into a day in the life of an assisted living facility worker, so you can see for yourself what they have to cope with.
A Facility Worker’s Routines and Tasks
Usually, the workers in assisted living facilities, or ALFs, follow day to day routines. However, certain residents may have certain needs that can differ each day. Therefore, it’s hard to follow a predefined schedule for each patient as they are humans, not objects. Your employer may have planned your day for you and established, how much time you can spend with each senior. But following these schedules sounds easier than it is.
Now you may wonder what kind of tasks the carers have – well, their area of responsibility differs for each patient. Some may only need help in everyday tasks, such as getting dressed, taking their medication, preparing meals. Yes, most seniors miss human contact, which is often provided in assisted living residencies.
In addition, in assisted living facilities, the residents usually have a bell in their room. When they ring it, a carer is supposed to come and check up on them. However, sometimes the staff is busy with other tasks or residents, meaning that it may take a while for them to appear. Carers work as fast as they can, but rushing is not always the right way to do things. After all, they deal with humans and their individual needs – those tasks can take time.
Related: Why Is Line Marking Requisite in Your Warehouse Facility?
This brings up another important skill – patience and understanding. Many elderly people love to complain – however, the right thing to do is not to pity them, but to listen carefully to their needs. Easier said than done! On busy or stressful days, with a million things on your mind, this seems just too challenging. But don’t forget – the residents just want to be heard and feel like they are not just one of many. Moreover, the field of care struggles due to a lack of employees. There are many people in need of care, but not enough people to take care of them. The stress at work makes the profession less attractive to younger generations. Assisted living facility worker seems impossible to manage all the tasks within an eight-hour workday. Therefore, carers must be very organised and able to work in a team.
The Different Forms of Caring
So, what kind of forms of assisted living are there? Elderly people can choose between a great variety of options: they can rent an age-appropriate apartment or house, and pay for a care-taking package, or they can move into an assisted living facility, in which there are further options to choose from with regards to the level of care.
As you can tell, our senior citizens get to make their own choices. Sometimes, they react in a rather stubborn way when the topic of an old people’s home is addressed. Nevertheless, most seniors love the concept of assisted living once they get to experience of assisted living facility worker. After all, they get to live in an independent environment, yet always have someone to talk to, they can participate in activities and in case of an emergency, they can call for help immediately. For the carers, the tasks mostly remain the same. However, in a residency, it is easier for them to coordinate their tasks and getting from one patient to the other takes less time.
What do Assisted Living Workers experience, then?
The options for the elderly sound great, right? But what do the caretakers think of their jobs? Well, most of them love their job, as helping people, especially the elderly, made them choose this profession in the first place.
However, the job is generally very stressful and exhausting, and most workers can’t imagine remaining in this profession until their retirement. Most outsiders are surprise by it, as they only see the conventionally “easy” tasks that carers perform. Yet the tasks are both physically and emotionally straining. Of course, the stress-levels also vary from day to day, but in general, something unexpected can always happen.
As we mention before, the tasks include getting the seniors dress, for example. Sounds easy at first, doesn’t it? But did you take into accounts that this also includes lifting people up? Lifting their legs or even turning a person around without the help of another person is extremely difficult and takes more strength than you might think. Additionally, some of the residents may need help being wash or need support while walking. All these tasks are not to be underestimate.
Most people would probably be overwhelme if they had to work a day in their life as a carer. Dealing with individual needs, being busy all day and doing emotional and physically straining activities surely is not for everyone. All in all, the everyday work in an ALF is far from stress-free. Working with seniors requires being organize and attentive. Some ALFs even use a specialized planning software to unburden themselves of formalities and concentrate on what is most important.