What does it mean to be a bystander? A bystander is somebody who does not get involved in other people’s situations. A bystander can also be an individual who is watching events take place. At any type of sporting event, there are plenty of bystanders in the stands. When you are a caregiver, you do not want to be a bystander.
August is Bystander Awareness Month so let us talk frankly about the temptations and hazards of being a bystander caregiver.
When you are an in-home care provider for someone, whether it is for an aging parent or as part of your job, you have certain responsibilities that you have taken on with this job. It doesn’t matter whether you are getting paid or not for the work, you still have those responsibilities to keep up.
If being a bystander is somebody who does not tend to get involved, then a bystander caregiver would be someone who shows up to the patient’s home, but then tends to let the patient do whatever he or she needs without offering them the ideal level of support or assistance.
This doesn’t mean that every patient is going to require the same type of assistance. What it means is that if the elderly patient has trouble with their strength or balance and getting on and off the toilet is a problem, encouraging them or just saying, “Call me if you need help” is not going to be doing them any service. It’s a different situation if the elderly patient tells you that they will be fine or that they are going to do something on the road and that they will call you if needed.
For younger people who take on the role of an in-home care provider for an elderly patient, the temptation to text and do things on their phone rather than paying attention to the patient is often greater.
If you are a bystander caregiver, then you are putting the patient at a greater risk of injury or emergency situation. If you are a caregiver and notice an emergency situation arise with the patient, and you do not do anything to help other than call 911 (when there is something that you could do) then you are also being a bystander.
Life happens every moment of every day. Being a bystander means that you stand around watching it go by and don’t get involved. If you are a caregiver, it is essential that you remain diligent and that you get involved when it’s necessary.
If you or an aging loved one are considering caregivers in Trumbull, CT or the surrounding areas, please contact SYNERGY HomeCare of Fairfield, CT at (203) 304-7303.