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In long-term care it is increasingly apparent that who is on shift is just as important as how many staff are on shift. Quality care is difficult to achieve when we do not routinely engage with one another in a positive, or civil, manner.
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WorkSafeBC’s healthcare and social services planned inspection initiative focuses on high-risk activities in the workplace that lead to serious injuries and time-loss claims.
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WorkSafeBC is releasing a discussion paper with proposed amendments to the Current Rehabilitation Services and Claims Manual that guide wage rate decisions related to short-term and long-term disability compensation. Recommended amendments include: These changes may affect your claims costs. Click here to view the proposed changes and offer feedback to WorkSafeBC – The deadline is 4:30 p.m. on Friday, […]
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Achieving work-life balance in long-term and community care

September 28, 2023

Healthcare workers in long-term care homes and community care play a pivotal role in the lives of our frail elderly and those living with chronic health conditions. They provide medical assistance, companionship, and support in the tasks of daily living, ensuring their residents have the highest quality of life possible. But what about the quality of life for these healthcare professionals? Striking the right balance between work and personal life is essential for their well-being, impacting the quality of care they provide. 

Due to the nature of long-term and community care, healthcare workers often form close bonds with their residents and clients. This emotional connection, while rewarding, can also be emotionally draining – especially when a resident’s health deteriorates, or they pass away. 

Long hours, staffing shortages, and the physical demands of the work can contribute to exhaustion and burnout over time. A poor work-life balance doesn’t only affect the healthcare worker – it can have a ripple effect, including: 

  • Higher turnover rates among staff 
  • Increase absenteeism and sick leave 
  • Decreased resident and client satisfaction 
  • Increase in medical errors or oversights 

Steps towards a more balanced life 

  1. Set boundaries: It’s essential to know when to disconnect. Disconnecting might mean not bringing work home, mentally and physically. Stick to your scheduled work hours as much as possible, and ensure you have time to relax and engage in activities you enjoy.   
  2. Prioritize self-care: Self-care is not selfish – it is a necessity for healthcare workers. Regular exercise, a healthy diet, sufficient sleep, and mindfulness practices can significantly enhance physical and mental well-being. 
  3. Seek support: Make the most of your support systems, including, friends, family, and colleagues, counselling, support groups. Sharing experiences and feelings with others can provide emotional relief and valuable insights.  
  4. Take regular breaks: Take short breaks to rest and recharge during shifts. Breaks can help in reducing the physical and mental toll of continuous work. Even short breaks can significantly enhance your productivity and emotional well-being. 

How leaders can support their teams to achieve balance 

  1. Provide training: Regular training sessions on coping mechanisms, stress management, and self-care can be beneficial. Our Care for Caregivers program offers regular webinars on mental health topics – including self-care, burnout, and resilience. 
  2. Feedback opportunities: Have systems where staff can provide feedback on their challenges and address them promptly. 
  3. Wellness programs: Consider introducing wellness programs, such as group activities, counselling services, and health check-ups. 

A healthy work-life balance is critical for healthcare workers looking after some of our most vulnerable citizens. Implementing these strategies can help reduce stress, prevent burnout, and enhance resident and client care quality. It’s essential to prioritize your well-being to continue providing the best care to those who depend on you. Remember, caring for yourself is the first step in caring for others. 

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