Across the world, there are people with disabilities, medical conditions, mental illnesses and individuals struggling with old age who are unable to look after themselves. A carer is a person who provides care and support to those people. The care can range from periodic visits to help with grocery or clothes shopping, social entertainment and household chores to full-time, live-in support.
This article will explore the roles of caregivers and discuss what makes carers unsung heroes in many people’s eyes.
Who can be a carer?
As mentioned above, a carer is someone who provides care for another person. They do not always work in care facilities and can simply be a relative of the individual requiring care. You will see parents, offspring, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles and friends taking on a carer role for someone they love or respect.
On the other hand, professional carers take on the caregiving role as a career. They will mainly be found in people’s homes, trying to help them live as much of a normal life as possible, but also in professional settings like nursing homes, hospitals, and long-term care facilities offering 24-hour support.
What role does a carer take on at home?
Either professional carers or family members are most often found in the home where the individual needing support will be most comfortable. Roles include:
- Grocery shopping
- Checking in (a quick visit to make sure everything is fine)
- Providing company
- Changing dressings or bandages for wounds
These tasks could be done daily or just a few times a week to help offload duties. Carers will also accompany the individual on walks, going to the shops, heading out for coffee or driving them to appointments/ events.
Advanced care for those in need of more support will include:
- Medication management
- Help with hygiene and personal care
- Help getting dressed
- Changing positions
Individuals requiring this level of care will often need full-time or live-in support as they will struggle to handle most basic tasks alone.
Carers in care facilities
Individuals in care facilities will need much more care than those at home. While most patients will be elderly, you can also find people suffering from mental illness or severe disabilities affecting their ability to look after themselves.
The roles of a carer in a care facility will be very similar to what is offered at someone’s home but often require helping individuals who require advanced care.
They might not have any family members available to take care of them at home or require so much support that the average person would not be able to handle it independently.
Why are carers so important?
A lot of the time, seemingly normal individuals will have to give up their jobs and other commitments in order to take care of someone they love. Without these support givers, millions of people worldwide would be struggling with everyday life and unable to live comfortably.
Those working in care facilities are extremely hard workers who work long hours and are often required to offer support day and night.
Carers are incredibly valuable people who better the lives of people around the world. They may be a family member who is assisting with the daily duties of an elderly relative or a full-time support giver working in a care facility. If you know someone who is taking on any of these roles, then a few words to show your appreciation will go far. And if you are a carer yourself, then give yourself a pat on the back – you are doing great!