Relieve Caregiver Stress – Caregivers are critical to the success of a home care agency. They face many challenges such as lack of a work-life balance, uncertainty about how long they will work with a client, stress of having to manage different jobs, the anxiety of dealing with frail individuals. Many caregivers cobble a full-time schedule by working across multiple agencies.
It’s not surprising that caregivers experience feelings of stress or even burnout. It is important for agencies to minimize caregiver stress so they provide quality care to patients.
Recognizing the signs of caregiver stress and burnout is important so that the business agencies will develop strategies to address them. Successful home care agencies know that they need to be caring for their caregivers by creating a caregiver-centric culture.
Common Signs of Caregiver Stress
Caregiver stress is the experience of unsupported emotions and pressure that can lead to caregiver burnout. Some of the common signs that a caregiver is already experiencing caregiver stress include:
- Worry or Anxiety
It is understandable that a caregiver might worry when someone they care for is ill and needs care and treatment. However, worrying about the patient’s health can become overwhelming and causes stress in the caregiver. Worrying causes a caregiver to feel more stress because of the emotional response to the situation.
Caregivers may experience negative emotions such as anger, sadness, or frustration when it comes to their work responsibilities. When these negative emotions occur due to a stressful situation, it makes it difficult for them to function effectively.
- Not Getting Enough Sleep
Sleep deprivation affects people negatively. Caregivers who are not getting enough sleep may be absent-minded, easily distracted or irritable, and experience mood disturbances like lack of energy or depression. They are also more prone to making mistakes.
- Lack of Emotional Connection with Patients
Caregivers may experience problems with their emotional connection to patients. When the bond between them and the patient is broken, the caregiver becomes less engaged. This impacts their ability to care for their patients.
- Change in Work Performance
Caregiver can lose interest in the work they are doing as a coping mechanism when faced with excessive work or lack of emotional connection. Caregivers may not be performing the tasks required on the plan of care.
- Eating Problems
Caregivers may experience eating problems such as loss of appetite or binge-eating. This may become apparent with sudden weight gain or loss.
To help reduce stress for caregivers, you may also consider finding efficient ways to promote health and improve their well-being. You may consider the following ways to help caregivers attain good health and minimize stress.
Ways to Relieve Caregiver Stress and Maintain Good Health
- Promoting Individuality
Promoting individuality among caregivers can help relieve stress. For instance, giving the caregiver the freedom to express themselves and ask for help can help establish a good work environment. This is important because it allows the caregivers to relax and feel comfortable with their jobs.
- Providing Opportunities for Growth
Caregivers should be allowed to grow in terms of career development and provide opportunities for them to learn new skills through education or training programs. Caregivers who are given the chance to grow feel valued and challenged and that will motivate them to work even better and become a more reliable elderly companion.
- Promoting Flexibility
Flexible work schedules are important for caregivers because it can help them balance their work with their daily lives outside of work. Caregivers may feel stressed out when it comes to taking care of family members, and having a flexible schedule allows them to balance work and personal responsibilities.
- Providing Training on Managing Stress and Coping Techniques
Stress management training can teach caregivers skills that they need to learn in order to deal with stress. Based on the premise that “if you care for yourself, you give better care to others,” Mindful Caring provides useful tools to support caregivers in managing their own stress.
- Promoting Health Awareness
Agencies can support healthy living with cooking techniques, reminders to be physically active outdoors, get enough rest and enjoy time with family and friends. A healthy lifestyle is essential in improving the well-being of caregivers.
Stress is real in the caregiving profession. In some cases, it is vital to take action to mitigate it for the sake of the caregiver and the clients. Consider how your agency can implement a few stress relieving techniques. At a time when recruitment of caregivers is so challenging, keeping your finger on the pulse and promoting healthy habits might prevent some of your caregiver turnover.
About the author – Andrea Gibbs, was born and raised in New York. She is a work-at-home mom who blogs for Serenity Senior care on topics related to elder care and quality of life.