22/05/2020 by Rhian Fraser, Registered Manager at FraserCare Bournemouth 0 Comments
Mental Health Awareness and Support For Carers
We are dedicating this article to carers: exploring the day-to-days issues, anxieties and what support is available to help ensure that carers don’t feel alone in light of Mental Health Awareness Week 2020.
Did you know that 81 % of care workers feel that their work has affected their mental health and around 51% believe their care work does not cover their bills or allow them to have a good-quality of life? This can have a huge impact in so many ways from not having essential outlets to then worrying about how to cover bills or having some money left over to enjoy themselves; all heightened during lockdown.
The truth is, Social Care is not recognised for the hard work that it entails or what the carers undergo but today, we uncover some useful information to help support our precious carers.
The Rewards Of Being A Carer
Being a carer is so much more than wiping bums' as it is sometimes perceived to be; it’s about giving someone who is vulnerable social engagement and sustaining or enhancing their quality of life depending on how much time they have requested from the care agency.
As a carer, yes they are being paid to conduct home visits and make sure clients have everything they need in between, but most individuals chose to be a carer because they genuinely care about people. So every visit can be rewarding yet has an affect on their mental health. Either they want to give more than they can in the time they have or are worried about their quality of life after their work is done.
Carers should take pride in their work and what they do specially during a global pandemic. Carers still working haven’t abandoned their ‘care stations’ and are risking their own health to look after vulnerable people for arguably little in return other than passion for what they do. If they weren’t able to continue, who would look after those most vulnerable?
So carers: be proud of what you do and the fact that you have continued your practice knowing how much you are risking; that says a lot about your dedication to caring for others - we salute you fellow carers!
Exploring Day-To-Day Issues & How To Find Support
Some of the day-to-day issues carers face on any given day of their duties can be:
- Feeling undervalued and/or underpaid
- Lack of self-care or time for self-care
- Feeling unsupported or overwhelmed
- Anxiety About Coronavirus: speak to your manager about your anxieties and suggest some measures that could be implemented to make you feel safer at work.
- Get Tested: if you are worried about being infected or infecting a client, request to or be tested to put your mind at rest.
- Join a Care Union so that you know you have a safety blanket for when things get tough, there are people that have your back.
- Request Training: Ask your Manager about any training courses you can get to enhance your care skills and knowledge. It’ll make you feel like you are progressing in your career if you have an itch for ambition.
Support Tips For Carers
- Taking regular breaks is an obvious yet essential must as a carer. Taking 2-days off at a time is just what you need to recoup, have some time to focus on you and your family ready for a new working week.
- Your manager should support you if you have suffered or witnessed something traumatic at work. Open up to your Manager who is there to make sure you are feeling supported and have everything you need to carry out your job as best as possible.
- Open up to family members about your anxieties - opening up to people who really understand or know you can be a real weight off your shoulder.
- Consult your employee handbook if you are unsure of any duties have been requested of you and speak to your Manager to raise any queries.
- We’ve provided a list of resources for carers at the end of this blog so be sure to have a look and make a note of them for when you need.
Routines For WellnessOver responsibility is a massive thing being a carer and can lead to being overwhelmed by the quantity of work you have and not being able to carry out it with quality. With all the issues stated above, we are pleased to share our ‘Routines For Wellness’ that you can carry out instantly with no or little budget. Take a look
- Have hobbies that allow you to focus yet not on a screen or not mentally tiring
- Use the app ‘Daylight’ which is a resource for people who feel overwhelmed or stuck in their own heads (link in our resources section)
- Go for mindful walks: this doesn’t have to be long, just 20 minutes or more will do you so much mental good.
- Use the NHS’ ‘Shout Service’ for when you have reached crisis point (link in our resources section)
- Set some time aside for YOU: reading, Yoga, Meditation, Creativity, Blogging or even a bath! No matter how small put some self-care time aside just for yourself to indulge in
Use this blog as your essential guide for recharging those care-batteries and seek out some useful resources below to give the support tools you need as a carer.
Stay safe & take care, Carers!
Rhian @ FraserCare Bournemouth
Resources & Further Support:
- Show your support for Carers, purchase your WeCare badge here https://showwecare.co.uk/
- Anxiety support: https://www.giveusashout.org/
- Further reading about mental health in care workers: Fhttps://www.homecare.co.uk/news/article.cfm/id/161...
- Daylight (crisis support): https://www.trydaylight.com/
- Mind Mental Health Charity: https://www.mind.org.uk/