A Day In The Life

A caregiver provides a glimpse into her day with a client:

K.C, a professional caregiver, recently completed a one-year assignment with an elderly married couple. She was first hired to care for the wife who was mostly bedridden due to advanced arthritis and was later diagnosed with stomach cancer. The client’s husband, while able bodied when the caregiver began service, later also needed her help with activities of daily living. This is K.C.’s account of a typical day’s care plan with the elderly clients, Mr. and Mrs. Brown:

I arrive at their home at 8 am. The first thing I do is greet Mr. B and then his wife, who is in bed. I then check if she needs to use the commode or changing or needs anything else.

Then I prepare their breakfast and set up the medication reminders for the day. After breakfast, I clean up the kitchen and check the refrigerator for spoiled food or clean up spills that I often find.

Next I bathe Mrs. B. and dress her. I clean the bathroom and check the supplies, such as toilet paper, soap and clean towels. I change the bed sheets. With some clients, I do their laundry, but with the Browns, their daughter takes care of it.

The latter morning is spent calling to make appointments for them and taking them to their doctor and other appointments, or I take Mr. B. to the market.

Back at their home after marketing, I help Mrs. B into bed for a rest and prepare lunch for both of them. After lunch I clean up the kitchen and plan what to fix them for dinner.

While Mrs. B naps, I take Mr. B for his daily short walk and then we play cards or a board game when we return.

When Mrs. B. awakens, I remind her to take her pills, check to see if her clothes needchanging or if she needs anything else for her comfort. Often we read together for a while.

I then prepare their dinner along with some pudding or other little treat for them to enjoy later.

Around 5 pm, I tell them “goodbye” and go home to my family and get ready to be a compassionate com- panion and helper to those lovely people again the next day.