24 Mar Habilitation Workers: Understanding Their Indispensable Role
What do Habilitation workers do, and what is the difference between a CareAgape Habilitation worker and CareAgape Caregiver?
There is some confusion about what Habilitation Workers do and why their role at CareAgape Senior Homes is so specialized and differentiated from other roles.
Habilitation Workers are training and development specialists who provide essential assistance and care to individuals with disabilities, such as Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). They offer direct care and support to help TBI residents regain daily skills necessary to better function and eventually integrate back into the community. Improving these skills is based on individualized plans with established outcomes. Implementing habilitation programs gives TBI residents the greatest potential to achieve and maintain their goal of regaining a sense of normalcy and assimilating back into the community with some degree of independence.
But the Habilitation Worker is so much more. Habilitation workers provide motivation and hope for TBI patients – a buddy for life – an indispensable advocate and life companion for a TBI resident. In addition to helping TBI residents overcome physical barriers, they also help them cope with behavioral issues, including coping with depression, which is common in TBI patients who have lost their functionality and, with it, a large part of their identity. The continuity of care they provide gives TBI patients a feeling of permanence which is so necessary at a time when these residents are experiencing sudden, dramatic change and chaos in their lives.
While CareAgape Habilitation workers work hand in hand with CareAgape Caregivers, and both enhance the quality of life for those they serve, the role of caregivers is more generalized and all-encompassing. CareAgape caregivers provide compassionate, attentive care for all residents – seniors and TBI patients – including day-to-day personal care such as bathing and grooming, dressing, incontinence and toiletry assistance, and managing medication. They prepare and serve meals; do housekeeping, laundry, and shopping; coordinate exercise and other activities; run errands, and provide transfer assistance to and from doctors’ appointments. Most importantly, they play a crucial role in keeping residents as safe and as comfortable as possible while providing round-the-clock emergency response.
Similarly, the role of Habilitation Workers is different than that of Rehabilitation therapists, such as occupational, physical and speech therapists. These individuals, with specialized degrees, help a person reach optimal recovery and return to a healthy and active lifestyle. Rehabilitation therapists should not be confused with Habilitation workers, however. The Rehabilitation therapist works within a medical model, for a designated period of time, while the Habilitation worker is a non-medical team member who provides personal, often long-term assistance.
There is an assigned role for Habilitation workers, Caregivers, and Rehabilitation therapists, who perform distinct tasks. Yet together, they provide a much-needed team approach to helping senior residents and TBI residents alike experience a sense of belonging and enjoy all the physical, social, and emotional benefits of living in a loving family home.