It’s never easy to deal with the death of a loved one or a person you know. For caregivers who work with the same person for a long time, losing them can be the same as losing a family member. When death happens, a caregiver needs to know how to act appropriately and deal with overflowing emotions. They will need to control them and to be at hand for family members who are also suffering due to the death of a loved one. One of the issues that caregivers deal with when a patient dies is depression. Here we are going to talk about the negative feelings that arise when a close person passes away.
Loss and Healthy Coping
To be able to handle the passing of a client better and avoid grief, many caregivers try not to get emotionally involved with their patients. They look to distance themselves. From the professional side, this is even desirable. Some agencies insist that their caregivers keep relations between caregivers and patients strictly professional. But for individual caregivers who work with a single patient every day, this is sometimes impossible. After all, caregivers are humans as well, and with time they will—without a doubt—get emotionally involved with their patients.
The bond that caregivers form with their patients is often overlooked, as it is usually expected that the caregiver should carry on with their duties and move to the next client. Of course that is their job, but technology hasn’t advanced enough to create robot caregivers.
Caregivers have feelings, and at the moment of the passing of their close patient, they ought to feel sad and depressed. But many think that caregivers should cope with their feelings better than the rest of people. However, a caregiver should allow themselves to be sad and grieve, but only as long it’s healthy. In the long term, this should let them be better at their job, and this is good news for all of their future clients.
Caregivers who have already dealt with death on the job should use this experience for a future encounter with the saddest of moments. They should also remember how they coped the first time and use that in the future. Furthermore, this experience can be beneficial for them on both a professional and personal level.
Tips for Dealing With Family Members
Grief has five stages, and one of them is anger. Some family members tend to point this anger towards caregivers, even when nothing at all is their fault. When this happens, you mustn’t take any of it personally. Everyone grieves differently, and if someone feels angry because a close person died, you shouldn’t react to it.
With time, you will gather experience and will know how to react in different situations where death is involved. Sharing grief with family members can be a good thing, but you should never stop being professional.
Grief vs. Caregiver Depression Symptoms
When you lose a close person, grief is normal. But if you don’t manage it correctly, it can lead to depression. Most people will be over grief in two months, but for some, it can last as much as four years. Everyone grieves in their way, but you need to understand the difference between sadness and depression.
For those that grieve, feelings such as sadness, crying, mild guilt, fatigue, loss of appetite, and loss of sleep are normal. Most of these feelings come with depression, too. What makes depression a more severe condition is that it’s also followed by worthlessness, low self-esteem, helplessness, agitation, exaggerated guilt, and a loss of interest in hobbies. While grief will disappear with time, depression tends to stick around and can lead to fatal consequences.
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