The biggest part of our job revolves around ADL’s. ADL’s are activities of daily living, meaning things that make up our day-to-day lives, such as bathing, grooming, feeding, and dressing ourselves. Being unable to do these things can be very stressful to a person. Here are some tips that can make it a little less stressful.
A: Assessment: As caregivers we always have to be on our A game when it comes to observation. So, when your client starts to lose their ADL’s we need to be able to observe, adapt, and overcome these obstacles. Just remember to always report change of status to your supervisor/manager.
B: Bathroom: Yes, that is right bathroom. Some of the more common ADL’s we assist with are in the bathroom. Remember to provide privacy, along with a sense of understand.
C: Confidence: Be confident while assisting, the people that we serve are very in tuned to our feelings/emotions. If you are not confident in assisting with a specific task ask a senior staff/ supervisor to show you how to complete that task. There is no shame in asking for help.
D: Doors: ALWAYS, ALWAYS, close the door, when dressing, bathing, and toileting/changing a resident. They have the same right to privacy that you do.
E: Empathy: Remember that our residents are human and deserve the same rights as you and I have. Try to put yourself in their shoes, and imagine how you would like to be treated. This over all will make you a more compassionate caregiver.
F: Feeding: When feeding a resident remember to always communicate to them what they are eating. Don’t just sit down and start shoveling. Be mindful of the temperature, texture, and taste of the food.
G: Grooming: If you work in senior care you probably know that most women LOVE their hair, and nails done. Remember to be gentle, and compassionate while assisting with grooming.
H: Hair: Brushing someone’s hair is one of the more basics things we do, yet it can have an effect on the residents whole day! Always ask how they like their hair styled, and if they would like any product in it (Gel, Hairspray, ect.)
I: Independence: Independence is a buzz word when it comes to ADL’s, remembering our letter A, Assess, adapt, and overcome, if your client can wash their own hair but not their body, LET THEM! If you don’t use it, you lose it. Let your resident do as much as they can for themselves.
J: Just Breathe: Remember, be kind, and patient. Take a deep breath, and give instructions/guide your resident through the process.
K: Keep your eyes open: We are the first line of defense when it cones to recognizing change in condition. It is very important for us to be observant while assisting with ADL’s.
L: Language: The words you use are very important in building a trusting bond with the person you are caring for. Instead of saying “Let me do that” you can try “May I help you with that?” A little respect and compassion goes a LONG way.
M: Mirrors: While helping someone with their hair/makeup, you may want to either have them sit in front of a mirror or give them a handheld mirror so they can see their beautiful face. This is also useful for shaving in men. They can see their face a double-check your work!
N: Names: ALWAYS, use your residents name while addressing them. And ALWAYS tell them yours, this helps build a lasting bond and straightens our relationships with our residents.
O: Observe: I can not stress enough how important observation is! Skin checks, and mental status checks can both be done while assisting with ADL’s. This is an astronomically important to our jobs, as givers of care.
P: Positioning: Where you stand, your body language, and the way you approach your residents is vital to building a bond. Once that bond is built and you and your resident are comfortable with each other ADL’s will become easy!
Q: Quality: It is our job to provide quality care to our residents.
R: Reassurance: Fostering independence and giving reassurance, will help make your ADL’s a piece of cake 🙂 Make sure to let your residents know that they are doing a good job!
S: Showering: Shower day can cause some anxiety among our residents. The important thing is to learn what works and what doesn’t for each one.
T: Toileting: Toileting is one of the most private things that we help our residents with, remember to communicate clearly what you are doing, and let them do as much as they can before you step in and assist.
U: Understanding: Imagine if you were your resident, would you like someone to just barge in your room and demand you take a shower? If you answered no then you have an idea of what your residents may be feeling. Be understanding and compassionate while assisting.
V: Vulnerability: Remember that our residents can sometimes feel vulnerable, leading to them having anxiety over completing ADL’s. This is where it is very important to foster independence and self-confidence.
W: Wiping: Yes, you will eventually have to wipe someones private area. It’s just life, don’t be intimidated. Making sure you wipe properly and use PPE appropriately is a key factor in avoiding sores, infections, and rashes.
X: Xylitol: Xylitol is an artificial sweetener, just making sure you are still awake 🙂 We are almost there!
Y: Yelling: Raising your voice is always a No-no. When a resident raises their voice remember to stay calm and use reassuring words to help relieve whatever kind of anxiety that they are having 🙂
Z: Zeal: Approach every task with enthusiasm and confidence and you will be a pro at assisting with ADL’s in no time!
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