Extra Support for CaregiversWhen working as a caregiver, there can be a mental and emotional toll on employees that isn’t common in most other professions. In addition to the physical exhaustion that can occur when taking care of another person all day, it’s not uncommon for caregivers to become attached to their clients and to form an emotional bond with them.
In some cases, these clients feel like an extension of a caregiver’s own family, and while there’s certainly a professional line that should be observed, it’s unfair to think your caregivers won’t grow to care about some of their clients – in fact, it’s something that should even be embraced. The best care is often given by people who are invested in their jobs, after all.
But that’s also why they need a bit of extra support. Caregivers can sometimes take work home with them, mentally, and while that’s not entirely uncommon as a working professional, it’s a bit different to be concerned about the health and well-being of another person than it is to be concerned about a report or presentation. Other examples of issues caregivers might have is feeling like they can’t actually take time off. When your job is making sure another person can do the simple, daily tasks that we take for granted, it’s hard to justify taking a day off for a cold, a mental health day, or even just an extra day before a long weekend.
To this end, here are two common suggestions for helping your caregiving employees: First, encourage –and even push – a better work-life balance. This could even include team-building events outside of working hours so as to give them a bit of a nudge to get out, relax a bit, and converse with fellow employees who deal with the same issues they do on a daily basis. Having those conversations in a comfortable environment can be very cathartic for employees. As for time off, remind them that they are still human beings who need to be taken care of as well and encourage them to take the time off that they need, provided as much notice as they can give. If you can be flexible with them and understanding of their needs, they’ll typically do the same for you.
Next, as a boss or manager, you should take steps to further the relationship between you and your employees and build a level of trust between you that allows employees the comfort of coming to you with issues. This is something every boss should be doing, but it’s especially important in an emotionally vulnerable field like caregiving in in-home senior care. The last thing you want is employees who are too concerned with making a good impression with you and meeting the demands of their job to be hesitant to speak up about issues or problems that arise before it’s too late. If you build an open, trusting environment, your employees are more likely to thrive and you’ll solve more issues before they actually become issues.
If you think you have what it takes to be a great boss to a team of caregivers who want to make a difference and help seniors in need, take a look around our website about the opportunity we afford our franchisees, what an investment in Senior Helpers looks like, and then contact us to speak with a representative about franchising with Senior Helpers.