Published On: Sat, May 2nd, 2020

Seeking support when you’re a live-in caregiver

According to the Better at home report, a live in carer allows an individual or couple to stay within the comfort of their own home giving one to one, high quality 24/7 support from a carer who lives with them. So understandably, the job of a carer is very demanding mentally and physically, regardless of whether you are caring for someone who is fit and mobile or seriously ill. Providing this level of care can, in some cases, and at sometimes be stressful and leave you feeling exhausted. But what do you do when you need a little care or support yourself?

photo/ StockSnap

Approach your agency (If you have one)

Your first point of contact would be with the home care agency you are working for. Depending on the elderly person and the type of care you are giving, if it is 24-hour care, you are not expected to do the entire job by yourself. If you feel you are taking on too many hours, a second carer can help cover your sleep time, breaks or even take on more hours

When you are looking to take on work as a live in a carer your hours and breaks should have been agreed upon before starting the job. If you are finding you are struggling to take your breaks when you are due to take them, consider looking at the daily routine of your elderly person again. Do they attend a day centre at a particular time or does a family member or relative come to visit who can sit with them? Times like this will guarantee you a break where you will not be tempted to carry on with your duties and get the chance to re-energise. Use this time to relax and switch off for a period of time.  

Seek support from those you love

If you are feeling lonely or isolated from your friends or family, don’t feel that your break needs to be restricted to the home you are working in. Meet friends or family for a coffee and a catch up. Talking to someone will help to unload any stress you are feeling. Hopefully you will return feeling refreshed and your stress levels will have reduced slightly. 

Speak to those who know the job

If you are feeling worried or concerned about any aspects of the day to day care of your elderly person, you may be able to get some guidance from the Age UK website or carers forums. Many people work in this field and are active on such forums, so will understand what you are going through and how best to help you. If you talk to someone who understands the type of pressure you are under, it may be easier to come to a solution together. 

Rest assured that as a live in carer you will always have ongoing support and will not be placed on a job and expected to cope with any difficulties or concerns alone. This will make sure that you are able to give the best care possible to your elderly person.  

Author: Joanne Jeffries

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