During unprecedented times like these, caregiver stress is likely at an all-time high. It’s anything but normal for the care home staff to feel overwhelmed with work during the coronavirus pandemic. Caregiver stress can take many forms.
Some of the signs of caregiver stress are –
- Feeling frustrated
- Getting angry often
- Feeling tired most of the time
- Losing interest in activities they once enjoyed
- Difficulty sleeping
- Appetite changes – eating too much or too little
- Difficulty concentrating
As a care home manager, you have to stay alert for these warning signs and engage with your care home staff regularly. You can also help them get their lives back into balance with these small steps –
- Encourage them to take care of their own health – Tell them to eat well, exercise and get rest. Ensure that they are taking rest between shifts.
- Educate them on stress management – These are stressful times and everyone reacts differently to stressful situations. Talk to them and educate them on stress-relieving activities such as gardening or reading.
- Encourage them to stay in touch with their loved ones – It’s common for care workers to feel lonely and isolated during these times. There are many apps which do video calls. Talk to your staff and encourage them to video call their friends and family. They can even use video platforms to schedule group activities such as family dinner, movie night and book club.
- Educate them on the importance of “me-time” – Making time for oneself allows the body and brain to de-stress. They can play some of their favourite music and discover new artists online or do things they really like to do.
- Help the staff with support – Ensure that your care home staff are aware of where and how they can access mental health support services.
- Proper communication – Open proper communication channels so that accurate information updates are provided to all the care home staff. Miscommunication and rumour-mongering during these times can have serious consequences on the care staff’s mental health.
The COVID-19 situation is emotionally taxing and the situation will not go away overnight. As a care home manager, you should focus on long-term solutions rather than short-term crisis response. Many care homes in the UK are automating their medication processes to alleviate the burden on the shoulders of the care home support team. With electronic mar, the care workers don’t have to manually check mar sheets to complete each medication pass. It informs the workers the list of medicines to be given to each resident in an organized way. It also ensures that no medication dosage is missed as the care workers get alerts before the prescribed time. Learn why care homes in the UK are shifting from MAR sheets to eMAR.