Getting Comfortable in Uncomfortable Situations | Caregivers’ Circle Workshop Recap 

Erica Ouimet, Developmental Service Worker & Professional CaregiverWe welcomed special guest, Erica Ouimet, Developmental Service Worker and professional caregiver to our February 10th virtual Caregivers’ Circle. Erica discussed the common challenges that caregivers face while providing personal care such as toileting and bathing.

“It’s important to talk about the awkwardness, to discuss boundaries, to approach things with openness, understanding and maybe a little humour,” Erica advised.

Resources Shared During the Workshop

Erica shared tips that caregivers can use to make their loved ones feel more comfortable in potentially awkward situations:

  • Let the person you are caring for know what you are doing before you do it. This encourages you to focus on what you are doing rather than on the awkwardness. It allows them the opportunity to consent to what you are doing and reassures them that you are including them in their care. 
  • Eye contact can sometimes make people feel uncomfortable when they are in vulnerable situations. Looking at your hands and maintaining open communication while you tend to the person you are caring for can help.
  • Encourage your loved one to participate in as much of their own care as they can.
  • Use vocabulary that they are comfortable with. Using the word “brief” or “disposable underwear” may be preferred to the word “diaper,” just as “shirt cover” may sound better to your loved one than the word “bib.” 

Ultimately, the way that caregivers approach personal care is all about the individuals involved and their level of comfort with the tasks at hand.

“Sometimes,” notes Erica, “you might not be the best person to provide the kind of care needed. When that comes up, it’s important to reach out to other family members and caregiver resources. Don’t beat yourself up about not being able to do everything by yourself!” 

Join our Next Caregivers’ Circle!

Caregivers can tap into resources to support their mental well-being by joining our Caregivers’ Circle. We talk about everything from stocking up on disposable underwear to strategies for unwinding when life gets too hectic. Connexions’ Caregivers’ Circle is both a support group and a way to deliver valuable information to caregivers.

“These get-togethers are a great way for caregivers to meet other people who are facing the same challenges,” says program organizer Michele Gagnon. 

Check-out our Events Calendar to find out about what’s upcoming!

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