The great British summer has finally arrived; and true to form there’s as many startlingly hot blue-skied sunny days as there are grey thunderstorms! The weather is as unpredictable as ever and with 2020 already shaping up to be a pretty wild year, who knows what it’ll bring next? For home carers in particular, erratic weather conditions can be difficult. Keeping cool on your home care shift is all about being prepared.
Self-Care on your Home Care Shift
Look at keeping cool and hydrated as necessary self-care – because it’s only at your healthiest that you are able to able to offer the best possible service and care to your clients. A happy, healthy home carer makes for a great one, and it’s important to put yourself first; plus, it’ll make your job easier – win-win!
The following tips will help home carers prepare for all eventualities and ensure that you’re comfortable, no matter the weather!
Many home carers have a uniform of sorts to wear, or at least a dress code. No doubt you’ll already be well versed in carrying a change of clothing between clients (everyone’s forgotten once and never made that mistake again!), but the key to dealing with unpredictable weather – layering! Carry some basic t-shirts or base layers which can be added in as necessary if things get cooler, as well as a hair tie or band to keep longer hair up and off your neck and shoulders in the heat.
If you’re wearing PPE, it’s not unreasonable to adapt your outfit to it, providing you still meet the necessary safety requirements. Non-steam visors and ear protectors for masks are available, so ask your care agency to supply them if you need them to.
Ensure your Vehicle is Well Serviced
Home carers frequently drive between jobs, but cars tend to get temperamental in changeable weather. Ensure that your car is always well topped up with oil and water. It is also advised to carry a spare tyre. You don’t want to be stuck on the side of the road in extreme summer heat!
Always carry a couple of bottles of water with you – at least your two litres for the day! If you’re not the best at remembering to consume enough to stay hydrated, set an alarm on your phone or remind yourself to have a quick drink every time you finish a job. You don’t need to down gallons of water, but sipping throughout the day should keep you well enough topped up.
No matter how busy the day, it’s imperative that carers eat well and have enough energy to deal properly with whatever care situations they encounter on shift. Make sure you have healthy (and delicious!) snack options in your car so that even if you’re not able to make it through a big meal for whatever reason, you can keep your energy and sugar levels where they should be.
It can be all too easy for carers to reach for crisps or chocolate bars when busy; simply out of convenience. This quickly becomes a habit though, so try and diversify away from these treats if you can.
Take A Break
No matter how manic a home care shift gets or how much happens, you really must stop to take a break. Everyone in care has worked a day (or, OK, lots of days) when there’s only time for a few breaths on your own in the car between jobs, but even this is important. An exhausted, frazzled carer is not effective, so make sure that you’re able to present to every job as fresh-faced and motivated as you possibly can.
If taking a break becomes a ‘treat’, your shift needs to be better managed. Speak to your employer and work out how better your schedule can be managed – you need to put yourself first and ensure that you can deliver the brilliant level of care your clients deserve.
Are you interested in a job in home care? Find out more about working in home care and the opportunities that we have available in and around Epsom at AM2PM Quality Care.