What Are Professional Boundaries for Caregivers?
Professional boundaries are important for any work environment, and this remains the same for caregivers. Boundaries are the barriers that enable caregivers to do their job well and keep them happier and healthier. Maintaining professional boundaries results in healthy relationships which are what all caregivers should strive for with their clients. Ultimately, companionship is a key aspect to providing care for someone.
Caregiving is a uniquely personal activity. Sometimes the lines become blurred between what is a necessary aspect of your job. Work-life balance is just as important to maintain as a Caregiver as it would be in any other profession. This separation is essential for caregivers to avoid creating unprofessional attachments to their clients and is vital to the health and well-being of the caregiver.
Boundaries should be set for your well-being, the well-being of your client, and to maintain professionalism in the workplace. Below, we’ll discuss the top reasons boundaries are important for any caregiver, regardless of your connection to the person who receives your care.
Why Professional Boundaries Are Important
While caregiving is a sacrificing profession, you must remember it is a job. Your boundaries should extend to protect your own well-being. A work-life balance is important, even as a caregiver, to prevent burnout. While it may be difficult to not make yourself available for your loved one or client whenever they need it, your body can only handle so much.
Our page on caregiver stress can help you find ways to work through and manage your caregiver burnout.
Help Alleviate Stress
Caregiver stress is an inevitable part of the job, but setting professional boundaries can help you create a healthy balance between the stresses the work causes. It can be easy to become emotionally attached to a client, leading to negative emotions like worrying, anxiety, and depression. No job should negatively affect your mental health, and poor mental health can lead to mistakes in the workplace. That’s why it’s important to maintain a healthy distance with your client to ensure you can continue to do your job effectively.
Keeps Your Role Present
Companionship and personal relationships are common between caregivers and clients/loved ones, but it’s important to remember your duties and responsibilities as a caregiver. While it is okay to be friendly with your clients, it’s essential for your own well-being to recognize caregiving is a job. Your priorities are to do your job.
In addition, too much of a personal attachment to a client or loved one can potentially cause you to miss certain behaviors and symptoms of greater issues. Setting professional boundaries as a caregiver ensures a separation between your role and relationship with your clients.
How to Maintain Your Set Boundaries
Especially in the case of caring for a loved one, it’s important to express your ability to care for them with other family members involved. We are all human and have limits to what we can do. You need to communicate your limits and capacities. This will go a long way in setting proper boundaries for you and may create an opportunity for other family members to help and support you.
Having a Set Schedule
Caregiving is usually a flexible job and doesn’t follow a strict schedule, but you can still create a schedule that reminds you to take time for yourself. Daily activities can be easily scheduled out around your client’s routine, like meals, rest times, laundry, cleaning, and more.
Outside of these times, schedule time for yourself. Even if it’s for simple activities like a haircut, seeing a movie, birthdays, or dinner plans. By scheduling out your day, week, and month, it grants you the opportunity to plan and schedule help for days when you’ll need a break or need to take time away.
Finding Help When You Need It
Jobs can be stressful, and caregiving is no exception. Inevitably, there will come a time when the stresses of work will catch up with you. During those times, it’s in your best interest to take a break. Burnout is common among caregivers, and thankfully there are support networks in place for caregivers to get the help they need.
In addition, there are services in place to ensure your loved one or client receives the care they need while you take time for yourself. Even if it’s just for a few hours each day, another caregiver or family member can step in to help when needed.
How a Home Care Agency Helps
At JEVS Care at Home, we stand by our caregivers. We know how important the balance between work and personal life is. We have the tools and support in place to help our caregivers through these times. Our most important tool is our Client Care Managers, which each of our caregivers have access to. They’re able to provide the support, assistance, and resources to ensure your needs are met so you can best do your job.
To learn more about how JEVS Care at Home can help you achieve a healthy work-life balance, click here to learn more about our career opportunities.
As we’ve stressed many times, a work-life balance is essential to this position. The quality of your care depends on your mental, physical, and emotional capabilities to be present for your client or loved one. Taking time for yourself ensures you can recharge and spend time away from work. The professional boundaries we outlined are easy to implement and will go a long way in improving your caregiving experience.