Caring for Carers

71% of carers have poor physical or mental health. Carers UK’s annual survey (2015) with over 5,000 carers across the UK revealed that 84% of carers feel more stressed, 78% feel more anxious and 55% reported that they suffered from depression as a result of their caring role, which was higher than findings in 2014.

The top reasons people choose to work in care are –

  • Rewarding
  • Flexible hours
  • Training
  • Sociable
  • Different every day

These look like great prospects for a career in caring and the people looking at this as a great opportunity to make a difference whilst also having flexibility and great training I am sure to come into the job with great enthusiasm and want to put their all into it. So where is it going wrong?

There seems to be a lack of support for those providing support for others, I would say this stretches to lots of healthcare not just caring but for now a focus on this area. Some of the challenges carers face daily are –

  • People in their care pass away, and communicating this to the family
  • Getting attached
  • Knowing that sometimes you are all they have
  • They are always on alert, and trying not to panic
  • An everyday emotional rollercoaster

This is a lot of strong emotions to face on a regular basis. There will be fear, anxiety, sadness, grief and a feeling of huge responsibility.

1 in 5 employees leave their jobs because of stress so it is not hard to see why, in this industry, employee retention and recruitment is very tricky!

What can be done to help the people in this industry and improve employee retention?

Employers can boost retention by showing employees they care, a new Limeade Institute white paper reported. According to The Science of Care, 60% of workers who said they felt cared for, plan to stay with their companies for three or more years, as opposed to only 7% of those who said they don’t feel cared for.

It is not always easy to provide full support to employees that work shifts and if it is at home care they are providing, there will be a lack of contact with other employees and team members making schedules tricky and also for it to be easy to miss the signs of someone who is finding the job a challenge. It can be done though!

Using a few different support systems including –

  • Education and training programs. Provided live and also on worksheets and with video and audio recordings so everyone can learn how and when they need to.
  • Culture building, helping employees to support each other
  • Melp, a mental health app providing 100’s of tools and techniques to support mental health and wellbeing.
  • ‘Time to Talk’, short drop-in sessions for people to pop into if they have had a tough day. These will also highlight if there is a need for further ‘full’ therapy sessions but can just be a place to vent, cry or seek advice.
  • 121 therapies. Online so this can be accessed by anyone, wherever they are.
  • Mental health resources. Mental health and well-being information, explanations and resources sent directly to your employees.
  • Group get together facilitated by therapists.

Not only will this provide the education, support and understanding carers need but it will also show them how much they really are appreciated and cared for which will mean the great carers we have can stay in the jobs they are so passionate about.

If you work as a carer or within the care industry and would like to have a no-obligation, call about how this can work for you get in touch – sophie@theholistichealthcaregroup.com