Caring for the carer

Through the pandemic, Funeral Directors are still suffering the effects of their own personal and professional experiences of Covid-19. And going back to normal isn’t easy, when everything has changed. So how can carers build resilience and care for themselves?

Going ‘back to normal’ in the funeral industry is beneficial for grieving families, but as carers who have worked through the pandemic, Funeral Directors are still suffering the effects of their own personal and professional experiences of Covid-19. And going back to normal isn’t easy when everything has changed.
So how can carers build resilience and care for themselves?

When you first think of resilience, what comes to mind? Many equate resilience with mental toughness, sticking it out during hard times. It might surprise you to learn that rather than just getting through tough times, resilience is what gives people the emotional strength to cope with trauma, adversity, and hardship. More specifically, resilience is a core strength that empowers you to “bounce back to your normal” after such an event, accept and adapt to a situation and move forward.

The new normal

As we begin to embrace a new normal, the health and wellbeing of Funeral Directors and industry supports is more important than ever. As essential workers, the pandemic had a significant impact on those within the funeral industry. After all, they are people too. Yet despite being so vital to supporting grieving families, the mental health of Funeral industry personnel is rarely acknowledged. Instead, it’s expected they just get on with it. 


For families, the funeral industry going ‘back to normal’ in many ways is good news. But for Funeral Directors, things aren’t really going back to the way they were and the effects of the pandemic on their wellbeing will continue to take their toll. 


Who cares for the carer?

Firstly, there are actions you as a carer can take to care for yourself. But the important part is that you actually take these steps.

Book a big holiday for next year, plan catch-up with friends instead of the old ‘we should catch-up soon’ routine, or even just plan a weekend escape. Whatever lights you up, book it in because making a conscious effort to look after your wellbeing will do more for your mental health than putting them in the should list. 

Remember, here at IFISS we are here to support you so you can take that break you’re well overdue for. IFISS can provide experienced personnel to cover staff shortages due to holidays, illness, or an unexpected increase in workload. To learn more about our additional support, click here

How to build resilience

Of course, there is more to resilience building than short bursts of fun. At IFISS we value the work everyone does in this industry and know how important it is to look after yourself regularly so you can continue the job you were meant to do, Funeral care.

Taking care of others can be stressful, and sometimes you might feel anxious, angry, frustrated, resentful, or sad. It’s important that you find ways to manage your stress and stay mentally healthy. Because it’s okay to look after yourself too. In fact, looking after yourself is vital to help you continue caring for others.

If you would like to know how we can tailor a program around your needs, contact us today.

  • Active listening 
  • Informal support and friendship
  • Creating a safe space for sharing

Caring for the Carer

Funeral industry workers are compassionate and empathetic people, however, there is a risk in constantly putting the needs of others before yourself. 

Remember, it’s okay to look after yourself too. In fact, looking after yourself is vital to help you continue the job you were meant to do. Taking care of others can be stressful, and sometimes you might feel anxious, angry, frustrated, resentful or sad. It’s important that you find ways to manage your stress and stay mentally healthy.

During our Resilience Training we’ll show you how to look after your health and wellbeing with:

  • Mindfulness techniques
  • Methods of identifying changes in your mental and physical health 
  • How to keep energised
  • Saying yes to help

Would you like to join our next Resilience Training Session? Click here to enquire.

About the Trainer and Facilitator

Kathryn Hodges MAIE,MBIE, Funeral Director and Qualified Embalmer.

Kathy has Certificate IV in Training and Assessment and is a Member of CIMA (Critical Intervention and Management Australasia) also a Clinical officer of the SES. A TIR facilitator (Traumatic Incident Reduction) for the effects of PTSD. She has certificates in Strategic Planning in a crisis, Group and Individual Crisis Intervention, Psychological first aid, Resilience Leadership Training, Peer support, Suicide Awareness and Prevention and focuses on educating the industry in all aspects of the industry including, Caring for the Carer and co-creator of Companions in Grief programs.

Whether you’re a large or small company we tailor training to your needs – contact us for a chat.

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