Caregiver Tip Tuesday: The Virtue of Patience

We’ve all heard that patience is a virtue, but what does that really mean? Just sitting idly by tapping your foot, or staring at the clock, waiting nicely until it’s time to do something? Well no.. to be virtuous and have patience means to have patience for a reason. To exercise restraint and redouble emotional resolve in the face of trying times, however difficult or lengthy things may seem. As a caregiver, it also sometimes means to step back, take a deep breath and wait for your resident to complete their task or challenges they face, and be there ready to offer help if the need arises.. Not zooming by the #resident or becoming frustrated by the lack of competency or capabilities that your resident faces.. after all, that’s one of the reasons why they need you. To become the strong face of resolve and physical support in their lives.

For example, say one of your residents has aphasia and they are getting frustrated with themselves not being able to find the words, and getting worked up. The proper response to this is not getting equally frustrated, -ramping up the resident’s confusion and pushing their temper.. the better thing to to do is.. step back for a second, catch your breath and say reassuringly to the resident..
“It’s ok. We have all the time in the world.” and go diligently through the list of things they may need on their point board.” In that moment, the resident will feel like you’re not dismayed in them, and will have confidence that you’re not looking down on them because of their disability or their feelings of personal inadequacy.. you are saying to them. ‘It’s ok for who you are right now.. but let’s try to solve this problem together.’
There are lots of ways this strategy can be adopted to many situations. Try to think of ways you can apply this level of patience to your every day #caregiving.