Faith and religion is a vital part of our culture. No matter what kind of faith you have, or whether you believe in God or some other ethereal or spiritual force in the universe, when you are responsible for elderly care, it’s important to remember its place in this arrangement.
It is the job of the elder care provider to look out for and ensure that the patient has what he or she needs, to ensure their safety, and to be the support system that they may require at any given time. The longer that an elder care provider spends with a patient, the more they will get to know that person. As a result, they will likely begin to form personal bonds, friendships, and maybe other connections as well.
As a result, the topics of personality, personal beliefs, and other issues will likely come up, but they should never be broached by the elder care provider. In other words, you, as the elderly care provider, should never be the one who brings up any type of question of faith, religion, or what the patient believes. If they bring the subject up, you can certainly answer their questions or state what you believe, but there are serious limits to what you should or shouldn’t do.
Faith is often a touchy subject for some people. For believers, they may have a sincere desire to ‘save’ another person. If that person is an elderly patient, they may feel compelled to talk to them about their faith or lack of it. For non-believers, they may want to know why someone believes the way that they do, and that can lead to tough questions that are designed to cause a person to question their faith.
When you enter into a working relationship with someone, you accept your role as a professional. As a result, it is not your job to be any type of spiritual advisor to the person. You may share the elderly individual’s beliefs, or you may not. That is not relevant.
When you are an elderly care provider for someone, it’s best to leave any question or discussion about faith outside the relationship. You primary goal is their health and well-being. Some people believe it’s their job to ‘save’ those who aren’t ‘believers.’ If that’s your belief, then you are certainly entitled to work through your church to help others. When you accept the role and responsibility within elderly care, you are there to support them. Leave faith out of the professional, working relationship, unless the patient brings it up, but only discuss it to the extent that they want to.