Mental health is the silent tool. I honestly and firmly believe that all caregivers should be given a mental health check up regularly. How often? I don't know but it should be required. Doctors, psychiatrists, nurses, teachers, pilots are some of the few professions where it should be required to have mental health check ups. I know psychiatrists and therapists, pilots are required to have an evaluation every so often, well caregivers should also.
This job is mentally wearing when you have someone in Hospice or who is so invalid that they can't do anything for them self. The constant repetitive care is numbing. I learned early on that I can only work two 12 hour shifts per client. One full day shift and one overnight shift. That leaves me room to pick up an extra shift if need be. We can only work 40 hours a week by law. In the old days before the laws got stricter people were working 60 hours a week. I ask you, would you want someone coming to take care of your parent who was on the tail end of 60 hours? Most caregivers are doing this for the money. They will work until they drop if they have to. Do you want "that" person? I should take myself off of this job, I really should. Since I work for an Agency I only get a portion of the $25. It was good 20 years ago when I started but it's not anymore. The problem is the lady I'm taking care of really likes me. She doesn't like most of her caregivers. I feel more like I'm abandoning her by leaving rather saving my self. It's one 12 hour day shift, how bad can it be? It's grueling. I have down time but being treated like a no-brain servant girl has it's limits. I am seeing a therapist at the moment to help me sort through this. But it's these appointments that make me realize how important it is to have a mental health check up. By the way, my appts cost a full days work. So here I am spending a days pay on a therapist to help me figure out why I'm taking care of this lady in the first place. Stupid. Not making any money and being worn down at the same time. This is in contrast to the other lady I take care of where I do practically nothing all day and make almost twice as much.
My brain is fried.
There are other situations as well, not mine. What if you get a caregiver whose's coming from a really bad home situation. Or someone who's been working all night and is now starting a new shift. Independent caregivers generally come with a huge recommendation, that's how they get hired. But you never know where they are on their "mental health" scale. Someone may have used them years ago when they weren't fried. And there's really no oversite if you hire independently. At least with an agency someone is keeping tabs on this, if only minimally.