by Kathleen Sheridan
In stressful environments where unpredictability and change are the norm, the ability to remain calm and creatively engaged is essential.
This is especially true for caregivers in nursing homes and elder care facilities, where scheduled activities and daily routines must be maintained, and daily health emergencies and emotional disruptions must be handled creatively and efficiently.
Caregivers are committed to creating a soothing, nurturing environment for elders, so they’ll feel happy in their new home.
But what about the caregivers?
A caregiver’s daily routine is challenging and unpredictable. For example, when ‘Mary’ suddenly gets ill at lunch, caregivers immediately respond to her needs. They watch for emotional effects on other residents, and comfort family members who may be called in. Just as things begin to quiet down, the high school chorus arrives, one of the residents needs to go to the bathroom, and another starts shouting in the hall.
Each emergency or disruption creates stress for the caregivers, who work in an environment of constant chaos and unpredictability. While family caregivers might have the option of taking a daycare break, nursing home caregivers do not.
After leaving work, caregivers often return home to families who also need help and support. This is why it’s even more important for nursing home caregivers to have strategies and tools to help them cope.
The NeuroChangeSolutions (NCS) program, Change Your Mind…Create New Results, provides processes for caregivers to recognize the symptoms of stress, use specific tools to return to an inner state of calm, and develop the ability to release the negative emotions that lower their energy levels.
Caregivers discover they can change their thought processes, based on neuroscience, to make choices to change their experience of the unpredictable and demanding schedules.
These changes not only positively impact the caregivers, but also the entire nursing home community, including elders and family members with whom they work.
Consider what it would be like for caregivers, if they came to work feeling relaxed and refreshed, ready to begin their day with enthusiastic anticipation, anxious to check in with one another and the elders.
What if they were able to deal with challenges joyfully, and with a new lightness of spirit? What if they could stay centered, be more creative, and actually enjoy the process as they worked to restore order and calm? What would it be like to work in an environment like this, even with its unpredictability and constant demands?
“It’s a Dignity Thing:” Nursing Home Care Workers’ Use of Emotions – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov > NCBI > Literature > PubMed Central (PMC)
The Caregiver’s Dilemma: How to Tend to a Loved One Without Losing Yourself by Francine Russo; Scientific American Mind; November/December 2016
Kathleen Sheridan is trainer, consultant, facilitator, and coach, who is passionate about encouraging creativity and inspiring individual responsibility. Kathleen is genuine and warm-hearted, and she thinks about caregivers as much as she thinks about her mom. She’s been there, caring for her own parents before they needed to stay in a nursing home. Kathleen is committed to bringing NCS to caregivers because she knows the difference it can make their lives as well as to the nursing home community. Kathleen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.