While serving in various roles, working as a professional caregiver in Indianapolis can be one of the most fulfilling job experiences you’ll ever have. But like any other profession, there will be good days and bad. In addition to the long hours and physical requirements involved some care recipients – and families – can be very demanding.
If you’re not careful, the daily stressors of working with difficult or ill charges can be stressful to the point of causing burnout. Two ways to ensure that doesn’t happen are setting professional boundaries and building a caregiver support network around you. If you’re currently feeling a little stressed on the job, read on to learn more about how to effectively use boundaries to prevent caregiver burnout from sidelining you.
Why Are Caregiving Boundaries Necessary?
Whether you work for a hospital in Indianapolis, a nursing home in South Bend, or a home care agency in Fort Wayne, here’s why setting professional limits is essential to your success:
It improves job performance
Not only should no job negatively affect your mental health, but poor mental health can also lead to mistakes in the workplace. Although caregiver stress is an inevitable part of the job, setting professional boundaries can help you create a healthy balance as you encounter work-related stressors.
For instance, becoming too emotionally attached to a terminally ill patient can induce negative feelings, such as guilt, anxiety, frustration, and depression. As a result, it’s crucial to maintain a healthy distance with your charges to ensure you can continue doing your job to the best of your ability.
It creates a healthier work-life balance
While caregiving does require you to be selfless and supportive, you must also remember that it’s just a job. Enjoying a healthier work-life balance requires the ability to keep your professional life from carrying over into your personal life, including relationships with loved ones. As such, setting and sticking to boundaries will help protect your own health and well-being.
While it may be difficult to not make yourself available for your charge whenever they need you, remember that you are only human and that your body and mind have limitations.
It keeps your roles separate
Using home care as an illustration, it’s common for caregivers, clients, and families to develop long-term personal relationships. However, it’s also vital for you as a caregiver to remember your job duties and responsibilities and to separate the personal part from the professional part. Your top priority should be performing your job to the best of your ability.
Getting too personally attached to a client could cause you to overlook changes in their condition or behavior, for instance, when they may be showing signs of mild cognitive impairment. Setting professional boundaries as a caregiver ensures a separation between your role and relationship with those under your care.
How Can Caregivers in Indianapolis Maintain Boundaries?
Once you’ve set some healthy boundaries, here are some self-care tips that will help keep those limits from breaking down when least expected:
Follow a set routine
Notably, when you work in home care, one of the benefits of caregiving is flexible hours. That said, you can still work with your supervisor to create a more rigid schedule that reminds you to take time for yourself. Your client’s activities of daily living (ADLs), such as meals, dressing, housecleaning, and hygiene, can easily be scheduled once you’ve established a routine.
Schedule “me” time outside your client’s routine, during which you can go shopping, exercise, take a nap, or make dinner plans. Scheduling out your entire work week or month in advance allows you to plan for days when you’ll need a break or tend to personal business.
Keep lines of communication open
When working with charges, it’s also important to express your ability to care for them while including their family members in the conversation. Along with your strengths and abilities, you also need to share your limitations. Not only will communicating openly and honestly set healthy boundaries for you but doing so may help create an opportunity for family caregivers or community volunteers to pitch in and support your efforts.
Seek support when you need it
Any job can be stressful, and caregiving is no exception. In most cases, there will come a time when the stressors of work finally catch up with you. When that happens, your best course of action will be to take a break. Thankfully, there are support networks in place for professional caregivers to get the help they need. The first step is to recognize the signs of caregiver burnout and then speak to your supervisor about what you are experiencing.
For example, another caregiver can fill in for a few days, or, if you work in home care or at a nursing home, the client’s family members. During your break spend time doing something you enjoy, such as pampering yourself with a spa day, vacationing with friends, or binge-watching your favorite TV shows from the comfort of your couch.
Bottom line: Trying to care for someone else when you’re exhausted isn’t going to work while asking for help doesn’t mean you’re a failure. Don’t hesitate to seek support when you need it.
Some Final Thoughts About Caregiver Boundaries
As this article has pointed out, when you’re a caregiver, the quality of care you provide depends on your mental, physical, and emotional health. Using boundaries to give yourself a healthier work-life balance will help you stay refreshed over the long haul, resulting in a more positive caregiving experience for all parties involved!
We Support Our Caregivers at Senior1Care
At Senior1Care in Indianapolis, we stand behind our caregivers and provide them with the tools and support they need while proudly serving communities in Indianapolis, South Bend, Fort Wayne, and Elkhart. Our agency supports clients and their families with services that include personal care, respite care, private duty care, 24-hour care, Alzheimer’s and dementia care, and more. Due to our expanding client load, we are currently seeking qualified individuals to fill several exciting caregiving positions.
As a highly valued member of the Senior1Care team, you’ll enjoy a fast-paced, positive work environment where your input is valued and hard work rewarded. We also offer competitive pay, flexible scheduling, ongoing staff training, and career advancement opportunities galore. No matter your experience level or education, we’d love to hear from you! To learn more about our open positions, please visit us today at www.senior1care.com.