Creative Problem-Solving is a Daily Challenge for Caregivers
A caregiver’s job at Casmir Care Services involves creative problem-solving.
Being responsible for individuals with intellectual disabilities often may involve being attentive to certain behaviors or defusing situations before they escalate.
One individual in the residential community likes collecting bags. Not just any plastic store bag, but the complimentary bags that are fancier than normal. Every time she goes somewhere, she’ll collect more bags and bring them home.
The downside, said Daisy Williams, a direct care professional with Casmir Care’s Residential Homes, is that individual has hoarding tendencies. So there’s a fine line between recognizing what brings a person joy and trying to keep a living space uncluttered.
That means she can shop as much as she wants. The individual’s love of shopping presents Daisy with an opportunity to help teach her how to keep her living space clean. Daisy cannot limit the number of bags the individual can get from the shop, but she can teach her about the need to keep her living space free from clutter and hygienic. But the individual didn’t want to do her own decluttering.
To avoid conflict over the need to toss bags out, Daisy sought to avoid confrontation that could create stress. Instead she takes a rather creative approach to manage the clutter. She will sometimes rearrange the resident’s bedroom while she’s away. That way, when the individual comes back, she can enjoy a neat room.
But before Daisy makes any changes to a room, she makes sure the individual has control over what happens by making a light suggestion like: “I think it’s a good time to look around your room and see what direction we want to put the bed in.” Then the individual will say, “Alright Daisy, you do it while I’m in school.”
As it turns out, the individual always gets excited in a good way when her room gets changed. And asking her whether she wants her room rearranged gives her control in the matter. Her opinion counts.
In any given day, direct care professionals need to solve problems and call upon their creativity as they work with the program’s individuals to create win-win situations, using empathy and compassion to work around each individual’s needs.
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