Being a caregiver is a daunting responsibility. If you are a family caretaker, you will do anything to make your loved ones feel comfortable. However, there is still no denying the fact that caring for a patient is an exhausting task. If mismanaged, caregivers can suffer from mental and physical health problems and put up with the consequences of severe fatigue. And this is where nurses play a significant role in lending support.
Caregivers are individuals, paid or unpaid, who take up the responsibility to care for another person. The person needing the care could either be a child, an older person, or any person suffering from physical incapacities where they cannot take care of themselves. For example, a hired nurse may have the responsibility of handling elderly patients who have dementia. Such patients often lose their memory over time and are unable to carry out even basic daily activities unaided. This makes writing progress notes crucial during this time, as it enables the nurse to communicate important care information to the rest of the care team, such as medication administered, their current health condition, and any other relevant changes in their condition.
Cutting it short, caregivers play a vital role. They are often over-worked, and nurses play an essential role in easing their duties. Here is how:
1. OFFER PROFESSIONAL CARE GUIDANCE
In specific scenarios, where the family cannot opt for professional nurses, a relative or close one may take up caregiving. Moreover, such families may also find healthcare centers too expensive. They may decide to take care of the patients in their house. These alternatives may seem less costly.
Nurses can help by providing individuals necessary guidance on how to take care of the patients. They can also assist in situations where caregivers may find it hard to cope and offer advice for their queries. Since nurses are well-equipped in inpatient management, they can provide the professional support needed by caregivers. Nurses have a well-rounded role in healthcare management, and it is not only restricted to supporting doctors, even though it is one of the many responsibilities of a nurse. If you are keen on helping your community through your profession, learn more about how you can become a nurse practitioner.
2. TAKE UP CARETAKING ROLES ON BEHALF OF FAMILY CAREGIVERS
Not every household is equipped with the financial capacity to afford a healthcare facility or a professional at-home nurse. In such situations, volunteers from within the family may take up the job. However, it can become too complicated for such individuals to fulfill the role without the necessary skills or instruments in specific scenarios. Nurses can assist by offering to take up part-time roles as caregivers for these households. It will ensure that patients stay under professional scrutiny. Also, this will allow the nurses to train the individuals regarding things they may not already know.
3. KEEP A CHECK ON THE CARETAKER’S HEALTH
One aspect most people forget to focus on is the health of the one providing the care. Since all the attention is on the patient, caregivers are often prone to neglecting their mental and physical health.
Like we said earlier, caregiving is an exhausting job. Handling the issues of another individual, along with taking care of their emotional well-being, may get nerve-wracking. It slowly drains the responsible individual unless they constantly check on their own mental and physical needs. Nurses can assist by keeping a check on the well-being of the caregivers. Often, the caregivers may, out of love, give up on their rest to take care of the patients. Even though this may seem doable initially, it is quite a detrimental habit in the long-run.
Moreover, such individuals responsible for patient upkeep also need time off to recoup their mental stability. Constant interaction with the patient and handling caregiving duties may get way too stressful. It is why caregivers should maintain a routine of time-offs where they get to unwind, relax, and come back with a rested frame of mind. Nurses can guide and provide them with the necessary opportunities to relax.
4. ASSIST IN DETECTING EMOTIONAL TURBULENCE IN PATIENTS
One common consequence of terminal illnesses is depressive or emotional turmoil. Suffering from depression can worsen the symptoms of a disease. It is essential that patients who show signs of emotional disturbance get the appropriate treatment immediately. However, caregivers who are not familiar with such situations may fail to understand or detect the signs of deteriorating mental health in patients. And this is where nurses play a vital part. They can help these individuals acquire skills necessary to see depression in their patients. Also, they can guide how to care for patients who suffer from emotional instability.
5. OFFER ADVICE ALONG THE JOURNEY
Caregiving is a responsibility. If you are not a professional, it just becomes all the more terrifying. However, nurses can provide a lending hand by being available to offer advice round-the-clock. This way, the caregivers may not feel alone. It will also reduce much of the stress of taking up the caregiving responsibility.
Nurses play a significant role in the healthcare sector. And likewise, they also have a vital role in supporting caretakers. Taking care of a patient comprises a significant part of the treatment; therefore, caregivers need all the support they can get. Individuals in the circle or community should come forth and assist in any way possible to lessen their burden. If you are a professional nurse, remember to play your part in making the community a better place for everyone by supporting whoever needs it!