Self-Care for the Caregiver
Over a third of nurses surveyed planned to quit their jobs by the end of 2022 [link: https://www.incrediblehealth.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/IH-COVID-19-2022-Summary-1.pdf] The increased stressors of the pandemic have something to do with that stat. Regardless, caregiver burnout is a major issue across the board.
And this applies even more to those who care for individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD). Complexity of care is significant as they are dealing with physical, emotional, and mental challenges. They require multi-faceted approaches and often lack the ability to communicate in typical ways. And short-staffing can be a vicious cycle — more burnout created through lack of adequate staff creates more burnout…and so on.
As the flight attendants tell us, “You need to put your own oxygen mask on first, before attempting to help those around you.” Why? Because if you can’t breathe, you can’t help anyone!
So here are a few ideas for caregivers to put some air back in their lungs:
Dust Off Those Hobbies — Are you enjoying anything outside of work? Something only for you that is rejuvenating? Many adults give up hobbies as the demands of work and family increase. But studies show: regular enjoyable activities can be associated with “lower blood pressure, total cortisol, waist circumference, and body mass index, and perceptions of better physical function.” Link: [https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2863117/]
Take Your Own Advice — Ask yourself , “Do I do the things I’m recommending to my individuals?” Too often we forgo the basics and wonder why we’re exhausted: getting enough sleep, exercising, eating right, and staying hydrated (no, Diet Coke doesn’t count).
Know Your Boundaries, Hold Your Boundaries — Those in the helping professions often set aside their own needs for so long, that they forget they have them. In fact, helping others can become a practiced means of staying away from your own needs. But in the end, it’s not sustainable! Take an honest look at your own limits, then take action to stay within them. This might mean a conversation with a team member or a supervisor to come up with better workflow strategies. And think before you just say, “yes” to everything.
And SafeDose is here to help you get back to the “caring” part of your work that you love. Studies show “Person-Centered Care” is more fulfilling for caregivers of those with Intellectual Disabilities [Link: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28654162/]. It allows them to involve themselves more holistically with individuals. Doing less busy work and less admin results in greater job satisfaction.
We have created an IDD-focused model that fits the industry – giving each facility a dedicated pharmacy technician. This means you and your team have one main person at SafeDose who gets to know you, and understands your unique needs. SafeDose handles prior authorizations, refill requests, and even quarterly reviews. We also offer eMARs in case the facility is ever audited. We’re here to give you peace of mind and lessen stress causing events.
Caregivers – you are valued, and you are needed! SafeDose Pharmacy Concierge handles up to 85% of the tedious medication administration work so you can do the work you are trained for and truly assist your clients. Do what you need to do for you, so you can get back in the ring and do what you want to do for them.