Aged care workers play a vital role within our communities. They assist with caring for our loved ones in their later stages of life and give families comfort knowing that they are in the care of knowledgeable, kind, and caring professionals. Working in aged care can give enormous satisfaction as the work they do has such a positive impact on individuals, their families, and the community. Unfortunately, loss is an all to familiar part of their role.
At Recovery Partners, we understand that 2020 was a challenging year for many and especially the aged care community. When a resident passes, it can be an emotional time for both the resident’s loved ones, but also those whose care they were in. Whilst carers often provide great comfort and closure to families going through an extremely difficult time, it is important that we recognise that carers are often going through their own personal grief and sense of loss.
The connections made in residential settings can be of great impact and it is important that the mental health and wellbeing of care workers are a priority during this difficult time. Aged care workers are human and experience grief just like everyone else. However, sometimes, they can forget to look after themselves when they are looking after others in their time of need or fulfilling the requirements of their role. It is normal to feel upset, lost and feel like you need to take a ‘break’ from work during these difficult times.
5 wellbeing tips you can practice when going through a challenging time.
1. Debriefing with professional counsellor or third party
Talking about your feelings and how you are coping with a trained professional can help to alleviate feelings of stress and anxiety. Trained professionals can help you identify patterns of behaviour, and provide strategies to develop skills to cope with grief and loss and prevent on-going issues. Take the first steps to seek help by:
- Contacting your organisation’s employee assistance program (EAP)
- Talking to your GP
2. Good Sleep Practices
Obtaining healthy sleep is important for both our physical and mental health. Sometimes when we are stressed or overwhelmed we have difficulty falling asleep, experience frequent sleep disturbances, or suffer from fatigue and irritability. Optimizing your sleep schedule, pre-bed routine, and limiting the use of electronic devices in the bedroom.
3. Engaging in enjoyable hobbies
A big component of self-care is making time to schedule things you enjoy. Investing in yourself will make you feel rejuvenated and energised. Prioritise time for your hobbies throughout the week and maintain a healthy work/life balance.
4. Looking after physical wellbeing
Physical wellbeing is essential for overall mental health. Strategies to implement consistent physical activity is to start small and gradually increase the level of exercise you undertake. An activity as simple as walking is a great place to start.
5. Eating well
Healthy eating habits contribute to good mood and mental health. When we are going through challenges times, we tend to either eat too much or too less. Healthy eating means a balance of nutrients and eating the appropriate proportions.
For more information on these strategies and coaching on dealing with grief and loss as part of your role, get in touch or call Lifeline on 13 13 11 14 Our services are available nationwide. For more information about our services contact us.
Our consultants love to have a chat, so go ahead and give us a call on 1300 OHS RTW (647 789) or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Disclaimer – these articles are provided to supply general safety information to people responsible for OHS in their organisation. They are general in nature and do not substitute for legal and/or professional advice. We always suggest that organisations obtain information specific to their needs. Additional information can be found at www.workcover.nsw.au
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