Why it is Useful for Senior Caregivers to be BilingualMarch 15, 2023
The United States is a country of immigrants. For centuries, people of all races and cultures have gone through the arduous process of moving to the United States in search of a better life for themselves and their families. While immigration rates fluctuate regularly, according to a 2010 study, 12% of the elderly population is comprised of immigrants.
As the senior population grows, so does that number. Even if an older adult has lived in the United States for decades, many still feel more comfortable with their primary language. That alone is reason enough to understand why it is useful for senior caregivers to be bilingual, but they go even deeper than that.
Building stronger connections
To build a healthy caregiver-client connection and trust, communication is crucial. An English-speaking caregiver would certainly be able to build these connections with their non-native English-speaking client with time, but the process is far easier when the caregiver is bilingual.
When a caregiver and a client share a language, their understanding of one another moves past the verbal word. These individuals can connect on a cultural level, which can impact how the client likes certain things done. Their caregiver understands the cultural context of these needs and can provide. The sort of trust this builds is invaluable to both the client and caregiver’s overall relationship.
Useful for those in cognitive decline
A sign of dementia, Alzheimer’s, and other forms of cognitive decline in bilingual older adults is losing their secondary language. These individuals may stop speaking English and only engage in whatever their mother tongue is. If a senior’s caregiver only speaks English, this can lead to issues in their overall care.
Having a caregiver who is fluent in both languages is beneficial to the client and their family. As a client begins to lose their English, their caregiver can supplement them in both languages. This way, the client never feels isolated due to a lack of understanding or being understood.
Become an at-home caregiver with us
At Home Care Powered by AUAF, we are always looking for multi-lingual or bilingual caregivers. We have been a member of Coalition of Limited Speaking Elderly (CLESE) for 30 years. From the very beginning, we’ve strived to meet the needs of underrepresented communities. 20% of Chicago’s population are immigrants, and we want to ensure they receive the support they need.
Currently, our staff is comprised of individuals who are fluent in English, Assyrian, Arabic, Spanish, Polish, and Persian. We are eager to hire more individuals who are fluent in these languages and are just as excited to add individuals who speak different languages to our team. This way, we will be able to provide superior care to a wider variety of senior citizens in the greater Chicago area.
If you’re ready to pursue a career as a caregiver, give us a call at 773-274-9262. We would be happy to walk you through the steps to see if you’d be a good fit.
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