The challenges of being a carer and overcoming them
23 Jan 2019
A career as a carer can be very rewarding but, like with any job, there can be obstacles to having an easy and smooth time. Read our tips for overcoming some common challenges faced by carers in their roles.
Hours can be long
If you are a live-in carer, make sure you are taking regular breaks. The better rested you are, the better the level of care you can provide will be. Where possible, if you are a live-in carer or a carer for a loved one, make agreed break times that are yours for whatever you want.
If you are not a live-in carer, take a look at your schedule to make sure that you are able to take regular breaks either during your visit if you are there all day (or if you are there for over six hours) or between visits to different clients.
Your own health and well-being starts to suffer
It’s easy to put your own care on the back-burner and focus solely on your client but you need to make sure that you’re not putting off doing things for yourself. Take time off to recharge your batteries and make sure that if you’re not feeling well that you are making your doctors appointments and that you are taking the time to eat all your meals at reasonable times. Meal-planning and batch cooking can help with this.
Missing out on activities and hobbies
If you are a full-time carer or you are working unsociable hours, it can be hard to keep up with friends or your previous activities. Make sure you are planning your days off wisely so that you can catch up with friends and look into late-night and early morning slots for activities like gym classes to keep you up to date with your hobbies. Other ways to do this could be to try to introduce your client to your hobbies, for example if you are into crafts like knitting and your client is able to perform that type of activity with their hands, you could see if that would be something they could enjoy with you. This could help you bond and also be a good way for them to stave off boredom when you are not there.
Keeping on top of all activities and care
Create a schedule for each of you and use alarms. Keep important information in one handy place and consider keeping a complete copy elsewhere, just in case.
Your client doesn’t want to take their medication
You cannot force someone to take their medication so, where possible, try to find out why they don’t want to take it. If it is that they have trouble swallowing pills, see if you can get it in a liquid or soluble format to make it easier for them. If they suffer from side-effects, encourage them to go to their GP (hopefully with you) to see if there is a different medication that they can take instead that will not do that to them.
They don’t want you to know about their treatment
Your client has the right to their privacy and so they are allowed to refuse to allow you knowledge of what medications they are taking. As long as they are of sound mind, there isn’t anything you can do to change this through any legal procedures. Time and patience, on the other hand, may be what are required for your client to trust you enough to allow you access to this information.
Find ways for them to know that you aren’t interested in taking over or judging them for their needs and allow them to get to know you better. Explain gently that it is useful for you to know what they need to take, just in case there are any issues and they need to provide a report to paramedics or other medical professionals in the event of an incident.
Being troubled by what has not been achieved
You can’t do everything yourself so make sure you are asking for help or for extra carers where possible. Sometimes something important will come up and you won’t have time for some of the less vital tasks so schedule them in for the next visit to make sure that they are done first or as soon as possible. It is also important to focus on what you have achieved and the extra skills you are learning by being a carer.
It can also be useful to take out carers insurance to cover you and your employees in case anything ever happens. If you need more information about carers insurance or becoming a carer, get in touch today.