You have decided to become a caregiver at an assisted living facility. Congratulations! Being a caregiver is a challenging job, but that only increases the rewarding feelings it can provide. Your job is to provide physical and emotional assistance for elderly residents, which is tough but satisfying when you see the fruits of your labor as the residents live their lives happily and well.
Satisfaction from Resident Care
As your main job role, caring for the residents at our facility is the number one priority. Before we can provide emotional support, we have to make sure the resident’s basic needs are cared for. This is the part of the job whose outcomes are the most apparent. If your resident is bathed, groomed, fed, medicated, and in a clean room, you can look around and see the impact you have made on your resident. Take pride in a job well done. You have made another person feel more like a person this morning than they potentially woke up feeling.
If ever the work feels draining or exhausting, try to put yourself in the resident’s shoes. If you were aging and unable to care for yourself like you are used to, it would make you feel less satisfied with your life. The residents often feel like a burden, so being able to assist them in their daily activities can lift that burden from them, especially if you have the right attitude going into it.
Satisfaction from Emotional Care
While the daily tasks are the number one priority, taking care of your residents emotionally is just as important, overall. There are going to be days when you just don’t feel like you’re in the mood to smile and reassure your residents. Caregivers are people with their own external lives and emotions as well. However, it is important to keep in mind that at the end of the day, you can go home and deal with whatever is happening outside of work, but for your residents, this is home. If you do your best to maintain a pleasant demeanor with your residents, you will see their moods and behavior shift along with yours.
Providing this emotional care can be extremely satisfying. If it was your loved one in an assisted care facility, you would want them treated with kindness and patience as well, and seeing the difference in the residents when treated this way is rewarding for so many reasons.
One pitfall that can loom for caregivers at assisted living facilities is burnout. Burnout happens when a person has been emotionally or physically exhausted or stressed for a long period of time. Caregivers can take on a lot of stress through the job. That is why it is important to make time to take care of yourself outside of work, too. When you are off the clock, make time to relax and destress in whatever way works best for you. Take some time to yourself to do something you enjoy and reset that stress level you are dealing with. Even a little meditation or some reading during your break at work can help alleviate some of that exhaustion and prevent burnout.
Overall, caregiving is tough work, but it is so important that it is also rewarding work. The knowledge that you helped residents have a good day by making sure their physical and emotional needs are met can be so fulfilling. However, since it is also a stressful job, be sure you are taking the time you need to destress outside of work. Doing so makes it easier to provide amazing service to your residents and ensures your satisfaction with your job is high.