We’re in the long-term care and hospice care industry because we care about our seniors, however, do we, as care staff and caregivers, care enough about ourselves too?
Pros and Cons of Caregiving
Caregiving is rewarding, but also stressful. It is truly satisfying to provide assistance to another person in need, although at the same time, the emotional and physical stress of caregiving is prevalent, especially when caring for a loved one.
According to Lawton and his colleagues in the Journal of Gerontology (1991), caregivers may experience prolonged physical and emotional pain, which can lead to depression, anxiety, and other mental illnesses. Therefore, it is crucial for leaders to recognize pain when they see it, and help caregivers receive the mental health support they need to maintain their health and wellness.
Stress Looks Different On Everyone
What does pain and stress look like? Well, it’s different for everyone.
Some may constantly feel worried, depressed and overwhelmed, and therefore miss work or “check out” during the day. With others, you may see a loss of interest in activities they used to love, or notable weight gain or weight loss. Some people may be sleeping too much or too little but still feel exhausted during the day, while others will experience headaches or other physical pain that was not evident in the past. Of course one of the most common signs that someone is in pain or under a lot of stress is how easily they are to become annoyed or angry.
How do you respond to stress?
Let’s Talk About Mental Health
Mental Health needs to be a topic of discussion. Let’s start the conversation, and battle depression and anxiety in the workplace together. Together, we can provide resources for all, and help each other get the mental health treatment and support we deserve. Together, we are strong.
Lawton, M.P., Moss, M., Kleban, M.H., Glicksman, A., & Rovine, M. (1991). A two-factor model of caregiving appraisal and psychological well-being. Journal of Gerontology, 46, 181-189. doi:10.1093/geronj/46.4.P181
#THERAPEUTICTHURSDAY, Let’s Talk About Mental Health and Stress!
“You don’t have to struggle in silence. You can live well with a mental health condition, as long as you open up to somebody about it.” – Demi Lovato
Every Thursday, CareStory will discuss mental health issues that long-term care and hospice caregivers may face.
CareStory is a storyteller.
We empower senior care communities by engaging caregivers, residents & their families through the art of storytelling.
We care with Empathy, and we engage families to empower caregivers.