Working in health care with seniors can be challenging, but many professionals in this field find their careers to be filled with laughter and learning. Adult day care centres, also known as adult day services or day programs, provide time and space for seniors to socialize and receive care while they are still living at home.
Why consider working in a facility that provides day care to seniors? Many will say, “it’s more than a job” because you’re making a difference to those who visit the care facility. Health care assistants are passionate about helping people lead dignified and independent lives. As a health care assistant, your presence and positive attitude can have the power to turn someone’s bad day into a good one. Learn more about why day programs for seniors are special places, as well as what it takes to work in one.
Effective Communication Is Key
There are different ways in which communication with seniors requires attention and unique strategies. Seniors may have some vision or hearing loss or varying degrees of memory loss, but many will just benefit from skilled communication in general. Health care training will support you in providing quality care and prepare you to exercise compassion and patience when communicating with seniors.
One strategy is to ask questions and offer choices instead of orders. For example, instead of saying “you’re going to art class now,” a client may appreciate, “would you like to go to art class now?” This shows you care about their autonomy and gives them the space to adjust to the services being provided. Seniors who attend day programs may be otherwise feeling isolated, so communication that welcomes them to the facility with sensitivity is necessary.
Supporting Seniors By Doing Fun Activities
Depending on the type of day services the facility provides, you may assist with one activity or another on a regular basis. Some typical activities in a day program schedule for seniors include group exercise classes, life story exercises, book clubs, arts and crafts, music therapy, and more.
Throughout your healthcare career, you will encounter many approaches to activities for different demographics. What is essential for seniors is that they feel supported without feeling overwhelmed by the activity, or infantilized by care. This will differ from individual to individual, but it’s important to balance attention provided to a client’s physical needs with attention directed to their social needs and dignity.
Building Trust with Knowledge from Healthcare Assistant Courses
Healthcare professionals who work with seniors often mention the benefits of connecting with seniors. Talking with and listening to clients who attend day programs will give you access to a wealth of life experience and history. If you approach these relationships with a willingness to learn, it will help you build trust with seniors.
Sharing your knowledge from health care assistant courses is also a way to create a trusting relationship. If you are helping a client with mobility, you can let them know what you are doing and why, citing information about body systems and functions. This kind of transparency demonstrates your qualifications and lets a client know that you are confident in your ability to provide a safe environment in which they can thrive.
Are you ready to join a community and gain hands-on experience?
Your career awaits.