Certified and family caregivers work hard physically and emotionally.
For many years I watched my mom work hard as a nurse, and for the past 30 years I have lived the demanding job of a health care worker. Being a caregiver, whether professional or family, is a difficult job. Although helping others is greatly rewarding, it can take a physical and mental toll on the giver of care.
I have worked with many CNA’s and family caregivers who demonstrated so much commitment and compassion in caring for their clients and loved ones. My mother always said she tried to care for her (memory care) patients and their families as well. She was protective and proud of her wonderful coworker CNA’s!
Never underestimate the importance of self care.
For many caregivers, the idea of ‘self care’ feels selfish. Although it is certainly possible to become too self focused, and it is an honorable principle to put other’s needs first, we have to balance that with keeping ourselves healthy and rested to be able to serve others for the long haul.
Boundaries, time off, self reflection, healthy food, exercise, and hobbies are great ways to release the physical and emotional burden that comes with many caregiving roles. I am grateful for the guidance and encouragement I was given to take care of myself, so that I could last for 3 decades of caregiving, so far! Take the time to keep yourself safe and healthy.
Check this link for a gait belt for improved safety. I have seen too many caregivers need one and not know how to get one!: (affiliate link)
Appreciation is meaningful for caregivers.
It is vital for health facilities to recognize and honor the hard work of CNA’s. It is also important for professional caregivers to honor and acknowledge family caregivers and all of the work they do. They probably do not get much feedback from their family member, and we may be the only ‘positive’ feedback they receive. Appreciation for hard work goes a long way in promoting endurance!
As I was substitute teaching this past semester while my health job was slow, I heard about a school district that honored teachers with a covid bonus, and did not acknowledge the paraprofessionals (who were just as much at risk).
Especially this year, with all the risk that every patient care employee was under, it is important to honor and recognize everyone’s role in helping people stay healthy. It reminded me of how important all these different weeks of recognizing the variety of health care workers are (CNA week, Nurses week, OT month, Social Work Month, etc.) Everyone has a role to fill, and together we provide wholistic care for our patients. Take the time to enjoy the recognition for a job well done.
Thank and honor a CNA you know!
Here are some ideas and tips for CNA appreciation and self care:
- Write someone a meaningful thank you note!
- Acknowledge coworkers excellent work regularly.
- Give and get support from others (coworkers, friends, associations).
- Get and use protective equipment.
- Take the time to set up physical activities in a safe way.
- Use good body mechanics regularly, and keep your self strong.
- National Caregiver’s Day is on the third Friday of February each year.
- November is National Family Caregiver’s Month.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help, and accept help from others when they offer it.
- Stay open to learning new information and techniques.
- Stay healthy by eating well, staying hydrated, and taking physical breaks as needed.
- Stay organized (here are 10 tips)!
- Take the time to learn good communication techniques.
I would love to hear from you! What encourages you as a family caregiver, CNA or health care worker? Sign up for my weekly email for freebies, health care information, and encouragement!