Being a compassionate caregiver is necessary when working with individuals with disabilities, or complex medical conditions. Here are some ways you can strive to be a compassionate caregiver for those you work with.
A Compassionate Caregiver Gets To Know And Love The People You Care For:
If you treat caregiving like a job it will always feel like a job. If you take the time to get to know the individual you’re caring for, learn their interests, what they like/dislike, and make a real human connection with them, your love and care for them will start to show through the work you’re doing. At this point caregiving will go from being an obligation to something you actually look forward to as you anticipate your next shift and working with the person you’re helping.
Take The Time To Learn About Their Health Conditions:
Taking the time to learn, research, and understand what the individual you’re caring for is going through and experiencing on a daily basis will make the person you’re helping truly feel like you care about them. When you take the time to learn about their conditions it also helps you to better know how to care for them, and to understand why they might do or say certain things. Understanding brings awareness, and awareness brings compassion. It’s a full circle effect that helps you, and the person receiving care.
Being a caregiver involves having patience. A lot of your daily tasks will be repetitive, and you’ll likely be working on the same goals with the person receiving care for an extended period of time. It is very easy to get frustrated when you’re working on something for the 20th time and it’s still not an easy task for the individual. The person might also struggle going from one task to another, or perform tasks more slowly than you expect.
In these moments when it’s easy to feel frustrated, try some calming techniques to help you grow more patience as you work to become a compassionate caregiver. This could look like:
- Taking some deep breaths when you’re feeling stressed.
- Stepping outside for a few minutes to get some fresh air and a change of scenery.
- Move onto a new activity if the one you’re working on is becoming frustrating.
- Redirect the person you’re caring for if they get stuck on one task for too long.
Compassionate Caregivers Practice Self-Care:
Self-care for the caregiver is crucial. You cannot be a compassionate caregiver if you’re constantly pouring from an empty cup and not recharging your own batteries on a regular basis. Self-care looks different for everyone, and really depends on what your own interest are. It should be something you enjoy, and that you can do for yourself on a regular basis.
Self-care is proven to reduce chronic stress, increase feelings of self-worth, and increase your sense of belonging. These are all things you don’t want to miss out on! Some examples of self-care could be:
- Reading a book
- Cooking yourself a nice meal
- Get enough sleep
- Invest in relationships outside of work