Caring for dependent people is an important challenge from many points of view: on a social, family and individual level. Today we will talk about the people who are dedicated to caring for those who need it most.
But what does “care” mean? What types of assistants are there? Professionals who provide assistance to dependent people ensure that their physical, social and emotional needs are met.
In general, two types of assistance can be distinguished: formal and informal. The formal assistant refers to professionals working in this area, mainly socio-health technicians and nurses. The informal assistant, on the other hand, can be a family member, friend or neighbor who cares for the dependent person even though he is not a health professional.
Informal care essentially encompasses the care and attention from family and friends, but also from qualified personnel, who offer their help in a selfless way to people with a certain degree of disability or non self-sufficiency.
According to the World Health Organization (1999), the long-term attention and care of dependent people is supported primarily by informal caregivers (family, friends or neighbors), health professionals, or both. The goal is to offer the non self-sufficient person the best possible quality of life, always responding to his personal preferences, autonomy and, last but not least, his human dignity.
How is assistance offered to non self-sufficient people?
1. Support the basic activities of daily life
When we think of a caregiver, the first thing that comes to mind is just this: it helps non self-sufficient people to carry out basic daily activities, such as eating, going to the bathroom, washing and dressing.
In this sense, the assistant creates a personalized plan of attention and care, according to the particular needs of the person, according to the degree of self-sufficiency and personal circumstances that may vary from one person to another.
2. Create a climate of trust
Trust is the security placed in another person, which allows you to predict how they will act in a given situation. In a nutshell, it consists in knowing for sure how the other will act. In this way, the dependent person lives in such an atmosphere when he can say “I feel safe, calm, they take care of me”. This is a key factor for the person receiving help and their family members.
In summary, the assistant generates a feeling of trust and security in his surrounding environment, both for the non self-sufficient person cared for, who therefore feels safe and protected, and for his family members or the rest of the family if it is an assistant. informal. The latter will therefore say “I know he is in good hands”, “if something happens to him he will quickly notice and can intervene”.
3. Offer affection and support
The assistant not only keeps the dependent person company, but also offers emotional support. In a world where work takes up most of our days, people who have a caregiver next to them do not feel the loneliness due to the absence of their loved ones.
The carers, therefore, offer that company that the family, in many cases, is unable to provide.
4. Assistance to non self-sufficient people stimulates autonomy
Even if there is a certain degree of dependence regarding the health of the person, it is important that the caregiver foments the activities that maintain his autonomy.
For this, a caregiver is a person who motivates and helps the elderly person to do everything they can do on their own, even though they know that sometimes this can mean a huge effort.
5. Link with the surrounding environment
Depending on the degree of self-sufficiency, the caregiver helps the person to maintain and enjoy his social relationships, avoiding isolation.
With the help of new technologies, carers can keep their clients active, help them attend certain events and maintain relationships with their family group, friends or neighbors.
6. Care for dependent people improves the quality of life
It is important to underline that assistance to non self-sufficient people must respect the integrity and dignity of people, favoring their autonomy. Carers, day after day, carry out a fundamental work in support of our society, covering a role that, unfortunately, is not always recognized.
For this reason, we wanted to dedicate this article to the importance of these people, both in the professional and family sphere. They are the real pillars for those who are no longer self-sufficient, need help, and who, together with them, can enjoy a better life.