Being a first-time caregiver can be a difficult transition for those who have never participated in this career path. There are many skills one must master to have a successful career in this field, but comfortability and success do not happen overnight.
Caregiving isn’t necessarily an easy career, especially for those who have never worked in the service industry before, but it is one of the most rewarding. If you are a first-time caregiver, do not give up because getting into the groove can be difficult. Instead, follow these tips to better enhance your career and adjust to your new lifestyle accordingly.
Tips For First-Time Caregivers
1. Get into a Routine
One of the best things about being a caregiver is that you have the flexibility to design your own schedule and take on clients that fit your time and lifestyle. Some people thrive on that type of freedom, whereas others need more structure to feel productive.
One of the best tips that we can give first-time caregivers is to get a routine. Know which clients you have and when they need you the most. Make yourself a weekly or monthly schedule so your life can progress on a cadence and routine. There is nothing that causes burnout faster than feeling like a bouncy ball that is bouncing from one place to another.
2. Buy a Good Pair of Shoes
This tip might sound silly, but it is nevertheless, it is very important. Chances are that first-time caregivers are going to be bouncing from place to place, walking/standing for long hours, and having to be on their feet all day long.
Therefore, invest in a pair of shoes that are comfortable and allow you to get the job done with the most ease. This goes for any item you may want to invest in that brings you joy while working that allows you to be able to work efficiently throughout the day.
3. Take Care of Yourself
There’s a quote that goes, “If you do not make time for your health, you will be forced to make time for your sickness.” As a first-time caregiver, the worst habit you could create for yourself is working through sickness and/or pain if you are injured.
Make sure that you are making time to take care of your physical, mental, and emotional health because one cannot pour from an empty cup. If you are sick and unwell there is no way you are going to be able to help other. Call off, go to the doctor, and make sure you are in tip-top shape to continue working in the best way possible.
4. Remember Patience
This tip applies to both you and any client first-time caregivers will work with. It is easy for first-time caregivers to become overwhelmed and defeated when things don’t go as planned, but remember to be patient with yourself. This is a new field for many and working with individuals that need assistance in different capacities can be very challenging. Remember to be graceful with yourself.
As for clients, it is extremely important to be patient with them as well. Just like this process may be new for you, it can also be a new adjustment for them as well. Some people never thought they would be in a place where they need professional help and that’s okay. Others are frustrated with the recovery process altogether. Your job is to be a helping hand and having patience and grace with your clients will go a long way.
5. Avoid Burnout
This tip sounds easier said than done. In an article by Healthline, they stated, “In the National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP Public Policy Institute survey, 40 percent of caregivers felt emotionally stressed, almost 20 percent said it caused financial problems, and about 20 percent felt physically strained.”
With that being said, taking care of yourself as a caregiver is immensely important. To avoid burnout, make sure you are making time for yourself in every capacity. Make sure you are taking care of your physical health, making time for a life outside of work, and investing in hobbies that ease your mind and make you bring joy to your life. This way you can combat those feelings of stress and overcome burnout.
Even though there are so many amazing benefits to being a caregiver, caregiving can be a taxing career, especially for first-time caregivers, and you must take of yourself. At Sunny Days In-Home Care, we do our due diligence to ensure the well-being of our caregivers no matter their caregiving experience, first-time or veteran. If you are looking to launch your caregiving career or a professional already in the field looking for new opportunities, reach out to us today! We would love to get in touch with you. Contact us today!