Caring for the Elderly and Yourself

Caring for the elderly is a tough job that requires a lot of compassion, humanity, and even a sense of humor. Anyone who works in this honorable field knows that it is not for everyone. It takes a really special type of person to work as a Care Assistant, Nurse, or Nursing Home support staff.


There are many challenges involved in caring for the elderly. In many cases, the family of the resident or patient had to make the very tough decision to put the care of their loved on in the hands of a home nurse or nursing home. This leads to the toughest part of caring for the elderly: Resistance to Care.


Resistance to Care is a very normal feeling. No one wants to accept the fact that they need help and can no longer do everything for themselves as they once did. This resistance stems from feelings of loss: Loss of independence, loss of their privacy in some cases, loss of their memory or normal brain and body functions, and loss of their old life as they knew it.


As a carer, your service in invaluable. Many residents and their families might see a nursing home as an institution or a hospital and this may make the transition for them very difficult to accept. However, you must remember that you are the face of the nursing home and you represent the type of care they receive. You have this job because you are a caring, warm, empathetic person and you are likely good at building relationships with your patients and residents to mke them feel that they are the centre focus of your care. This makes all the difference. As a nursing home professional, you know that it is important to respect the elders, honor their wishes, but at the same time do what you know is best for their health and well-being. Remember, YOU are the professional!


When you are a healthcare professional in a nursing home, it is often easy to overlook caring for yourself! The job is taxing, at times mentally, emotionally, and physically. Remember to take care of your own health and well-being so that you can offer the best professional care.


Remember to always:


  • Look after your needs too. Take bathroom breaks when you need them. Stay hydrated and eat so that you don’t run low on energy. Try your best to sleep as much as you need during the week, especially during weeks when you have longer shifts.
  • Remember that it is perfectly acceptable to ask for help when you need it.
  • Maintain a healthy balance between work and home. Have hobbies outside of work that help you clear your head.
  • Remember that it is ok to feel frustrated and upset at times. You are human!
  • Maintain a sense of humor and appreciation for your residents and patients. You well know that they can be funny, sweet, caring, and have so many stories to tell. Enjoy them.
  • Take pride in the work you do. It is priceless! Don’t be taken for granted; be happy with the courage it takes to dedicate your day and your livelihood to the care of the vulnerable.


Always remember that you have an important and impactful role, not just in the nursing home but in society in general. You are part of a wonderful community and have amazing peers. Lean on each other for support and most of all, enjoy this special time in your life.

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