Caregivers deal with a lot, and they need the support of their employer to avoid occupational burnout.
Research shows that it’s common for caregivers to report high levels of stress, a factor which takes a toll on the quality of care provided and even affects the mental health of the care recipient. Furthermore, the odds of burning out increase drastically the longer someone is a caregiver, almost doubling from one year to the next.
Many things can cause stress; however, there’s an answer to controlling and reducing stress. It keeps appearing in the conclusions of most research studies on the topic…
It’s simple: support your caregivers.
Be it financial or mental health, employers need to reasonably support their caregivers.
Be a boss: 5 ways to support your caregiver
The first step in supporting caregivers is to ensure they’re in a position to flourish.
Know a caregiver’s needs, availability, and strengths to find work that suits them. Contracts often come before a caregiver is available, but it’s important to keep the caregiver in mind when matching them to the client. It may seem daunting in the face of limited staffing and unlimited demand, but remember that the quality of the care is only as good as the caregiver.
Flexibility is an informal benefit, and essential for caregiver support.
Caregiving is a people business.
It requires understanding that people have needs that require compromise.
For example, sometimes there can be a long time between pay periods, especially if you have just started as a caregiver. It’s important to understand that people may be relying on that money to come sooner rather than later. Things happen, and they often come with unexpected expenses. At Gold Squad, we provide reasonable advances to financially support our caregivers.
Flexibility and understanding can go a long way to supporting caregivers.
Household assessments and training.
A poor business expects a new employee to perform flawlessly without support.
In-home care is dynamic, in both environment and tasks. Caregivers require relevant experience and training, but it’s unrealistic for caregivers to care for specific clients, with specific needs, without preparing them for their role.
Assess households and ensure they’re properly set up for care. For example, a normal bed is too low for carrying out intensive care. Instead, a hospital bed is necessary, one that can be raised and lowered to reduce injury for both caregiver and care recipient. For a client with low mobility, ensure there is a wheelchair. If laundry must be done, then count the stairs and steps necessary to perform the task.
Once the household is assessed, provide on-site training for the caregiving duties expected.
Care depends on the routines and environment of the household. Ensure your caregiver is supported and set up to succeed.
Sending a caregiver in “blind” is unacceptable, unprofessional, and dangerous.
Especially in a service industry, caregivers must know that there are standards for themselves, each other, and the quality of the care; additionally, it’s frustrating for a worker to be unaware of expectations.
Since caregivers often work in teams, usually with clients requiring multiple hours, they need to be able to rely on each other for support. Research shows that “...71% of caregivers [confirm] that relationships with people in similar positions help improve emotional well-being.” You can’t be a peer and the boss, but you can ensure that coworkers are similarly qualified and aligned with company culture. It’s also important to enforce these standards so that no single caregiver is taking on the brunt of the work, in addition to ensuring safety and reputation.
Finally, standards clearly state expectations and support caregivers’ perception of their work. Without set expectations, you are setting your caregiver on the sure path to a mental health crisis and occupational burnout.
Loyal and motivated employees don’t grow on trees. The best way to stress and burn out your caregiver is to reward their loyalty with indifference. Regardless if they quit or not, the quality of their care will suffer.
Matching loyalty with loyalty ensures that the quality of your service remains constant. If a client cancels a contract, then make it a priority to replace those hours for your caregiver.
If caregivers give us loyalty, they should expect it from us as well. They need to know that we have their back.
Practical, custom, and humane care is what Gold Squad is all about. Our caregivers are capable and committed to your or your loved one’s care. If you’re in the Greater Montreal area, learn about your options and get a quote by calling 438-700-9107 or booking a consultation with Heather Parnell, founder and owner of Gold Squad.