Caregiving is an extremely rewarding career.
The relationship and trust that you build with patients and their families is unique.
However, as you know, there are also challenges to being a caregiver, including performing your daily tasks while maintaining the patience often needed as you deal with your patients and their struggles.
Here are a few secrets to being a great caregiver that you can keep in your tool belt as you care for your patients.
Dealing with aging patients often requires a great deal of patience. When you begin to feel impatient, take a deep breath and put yourself in their shoes. How would you feel if you had to constantly ask for help for daily tasks? Patience with your client will often result in the client feeling more at ease, which is a win for you both.
It is important that your patient feels cared for, not only physically, but also emotionally. Stay engaged. Leave your phone out of reach to resist the temptation to un-engage. Listen to that story about that dog that they already told you 10 times. Ask them questions.This will make your patient feel valued.
Knowledge is Power
Taking the time to learn about the different diseases your patients have and what you can expect can be a great way to arm yourself with knowledge that will help you respond to and care for their unique needs. It is helpful to know what they are going through, how they are feeling, and why they may be responding to you in a certain way. Resource: List of Common Illnesses
Take Care of YOU
Last but not least…take care of YOU. You are able to give the best care when you are at your best. Here are a few steps you can take to make sure you are caring for you:
- Eat Well – Good nutrition will not only give you energy, but also help you feel more confident and ready to take on the day.
- Exercise – Find time to MOVE. It increases your endorphins (“good” coping hormones), which will boost your mood.
- Sleep – We all know that lack of sleep can not only leave us feeling drained, but it can also result in sickness and anxiety. Aim for 7-8 hours every night.
- Make time for what you love – Whether that be time with your family, outdoor activities, or simply reading a good book. Make time for YOU.