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Senior caretaker abroad – how does this work look like?

19-05-2020

According to the report ‚Work and earnings in Europe 2019’ prepared by europa.jobs, working as a caretaker for the elderly is the third most popular profession Poles do abroad. Also in the pandemic era, it was one of the fastest jobs covered by permission to cross borders and removed from the obligation to hold a 14-day quarantine. Why the popularity of this work? What are the responsibilities of being a carer for an elderly person?

On Polish jobboards such as europa.jobs, work as a caretaker for the elderly is most often offered in Germany. This is related to the distance from the place of residence and the possibility of combining good care for the elderly with relatively frequent returns to Poland. However, such offers can also be found in United Kingdom, Belgium, Switzerland and even in Poland. The latter are most often offered to workers from the East, but in view of the situation caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the trend is reversed, and this kind of position is also taken by Poles who have returned to the country.

The work of an elderly person caretaker – what does it involve?

Finding a caretaker for the elderly is a solution for families who do not have enough time for the senior, while avoiding placing a loved one in a retirement home. However, this is a very responsible job, requiring physical and mental strength. When undertaking such work in Europe, we will often be asked to provide the necessary references proving previous experience and additional permissions.

First of all, the scope of duties in the position of carer for the elderly will depend on the state of health of the senior. It is worth asking about this already during the recruitment interview and assessing whether we are able to meet the requirements of such a person.

If the elderly person is in poor health, the basic responsibilities of the caretaker will include also help in getting up, walking or daily toilet. In this situation, when undertaking this work, we should be ready for frequent physical exertion.

However, physical strength is not the most important element. The person taking care of the senior should also have specific character traits – a positive disposition, be an empathic person, uplifting the person he or she looks after. It is this set of features that can help us find the first employment in caregiving in a situation where we cannot boast of documented experience or qualifications / courses.

In the event that the mentee is a more active person, the duties of the caretaker will include preparing meals, taking care of the senior’s physical activity, providing him or her with entertainment, watching over the schedule of the day, or simply spending time together, which allows such a person not to feel lonely.

Mental strength in the work of caretaker

We have already discussed the issue related to physical effort. What about the mental one, why is it equally important? When taking care of a senior, we must realize that such people can suffer from many diseases, be demanding mentees, have mood swings, and sometimes even be unpleasant for the person dealing with them. It is important not to take the unpleasantness personally, and try to overcome difficult moments with the above-mentioned positive disposition. That is why mental strength is so important. It should also be remembered that working with a senior can last even years, which often results in establishing a strong bond with the mentee. Mental strength is also important when this bond must be broken for natural or professional reasons.

It is not without reason that caregiving work has been at the peak of the popularity of the professional choices of people traveling abroad for years. Especially for empathic people, it is simply very satisfying to help others.

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