Proper Care

Top Qualities to Look For in a Good Caregiver

Caregivers do more than just look after their patients and attend to their needs. They nurture, and foster a bond that makes them almost a part of the family. Sometimes, they provide more than what is required of them.

Many patients spend a majority of the last years of their lives with their caregivers, so it is important for families to find home health aides who will treat their loved ones like their own. These are some of the important qualities that one should look for in a capable caregiver.

a good caregiver knows how to empathize.

To give the patient the best care possible, it is important for a caregiver to have a personal understanding of and connection with what his or her patient is going through. Being able to empathize allows the caregiver to put himself or herself in the patient’s shoes, and identify and ease the patient’s fears or discomfort.

a good caregiver is patient and flexible.

Patience and flexibility are qualities that every person in the caregiving industry must possess. There’ll be many hurdles along the way–the patient is being stubborn and uncooperative, the schedule doesn’t go as planned, or difficult situations arise. A caregiver who is very rigid will find it challenging to deal with these circumstances in a positive way.

a good caregiver is passionate about what he or she does.

What makes caregivers good is the passion for what they do. This means that they are not only in it for the compensation but genuinely care for people in need. A passionate caregiver tries to prepare for possible difficulties that his or her patient might experience and takes the necessary measures to make things easier.

Caregivers who are passionate about their jobs are happy with what they do, and this becomes evident in how they deal with their patients, who in turn will respond positively to their enthusiastic and lively attitude. Moreover, these caregivers are constantly looking for ways to improve how they perform their jobs, and ultimately, to make the lives of their patients better.

a good caregiver is attentive and responds to situations in a timely manner.

A patient, especially the elderly, needs constant care and attention. It’s the caregiver’s job, therefore, to be attuned to those needs even if the patient doesn’t or is unable to communicate them. Paying close attention to the patient’s needs is also crucial because in many cases, the patient is unaware that they require help from their caregivers, and with little or no warning, the caregiver must respond to those needs to avoid untoward events.

a good caregiver puts the needs of his or her patient first and is able to take charge when necessary.

A good caregiver knows that it is her or her role to make sure that the needs of the patient are met. But, there are times when circumstances and even people, including the patient’s family, make it difficult for the patient to receive the care he or she needs. When this happens, the caregiver must put the patient’s welfare first and he or she should be able to take charge and do everything possible for the patient to receive the required attention.

a good caregiver is a good communicator.

Good communication is key in all successful relationships and this is especially true when it comes to the relationship a caregiver has with his or her patient and the patient’s family as well.

Being able to communicate crucial details regarding the patient’s care in clear and simple terms fosters understanding and trust. This helps the caregiver perform his or her job better.

a good caregiver is creative and innovative.

Engaging the attention of patients is not easy if they are given the same activities day in and day out. Therefore, it is necessary for a caregiver to be creative in the activities he or she comes up with. The activities should be creative enough to keep the patient interested, involved, and excited.

It’s also essential for the caregiver to be innovative because each patient is unique. A technique that works on one may not work on another.

a good caregiver is committed and dependable.

Commitment to one’s job means that you can be depended on by the patient and the patient’s family. These are crucial traits because more often than not, the patient is left entirely in the caregiver’s hands.

a good caregiver is supportive and encouraging.

Every caregiver should be able to identify the kind of support the patient needs and to provide them. It’s also important for the caregiver to be encouraging because this is necessary in helping patients achieve more than what they think their capabilities allow. This is particularly helpful for older patients who need to perform regular physical and mental exercises so they can stay in shape.

a good caregiver is honest and trustworthy.

Honesty and trustworthiness are indispensable qualities in a caregiver, particularly with the live in ones who are entrusted with not only the patient’s health care but also the patient’s home and resources.

a good caregiver is able to maintain confidentiality.

Part of a caregiver’s job is to be privy to a lot of information about the patient and the patient’s family. A good caregiver knows how to keep things to himself or herself unless divulging the information is essential for the safety, well-being, and protection of the patient.

a good caregiver has a sense of humor.

Having a sense of humor is a good indicator that a caregiver is able to tolerate and deal with difficult situations, which is essential because caregiving involves conditions that more people would find hard or challenging.

A caregiver with a sense of humor also makes the atmosphere around the patient light and comfortable and this helps with the overall well-being of the patient and the caregiver as well.

a good caregiver is capable of being emotionally tough.

As humans, it’s very difficult for caregivers not to be emotionally affected by their patients. It’s also natural for a caregiver to form a genuine bond with his or her patient, which helps the caregiver perform his or her job better.

However, this bond could be a downside, especially if the patient is suffering from a severe disease or is dying. The caregiver needs to maintain a strong outward attitude despite his or her emotional sufferings for the ultimate benefit of the patient.

a good caregiver should be physically fit and have a strong constitution.

Patients that caregivers look after are often too frail to do everyday things on their own so it is important for a caregiver to have the physical strength or stamina to assist his or her ward when it’s time for a bath or if the patient needs to move from one room to another.

Additionally, a major part of caregiving involves dealing with the patient’s bodily functions, which are sometimes uncontrollable. A good caregiver accepts this part of his or her job with patience, dignity, and respect for the patient.

a good caregiver is able to perform light housekeeping.

Preparing nutritious food, cleaning, doing the laundry, and running errands are some of the things that a caregiver needs to do as part of his or her responsibilities to the patient. Some caregivers even go beyond the call of duty performing tasks, such as taking care of their patient’s grandchildren who visit or looking after their patients’ plants or pets.

a good caregiver is experienced in monitoring a patient’s vital signs, temperature, pulse, blood pressure, and respiration.

Knowing how to monitor and interpret a patient’s vital signs is an essential skill, especially if the patient is suffering from a particular medical condition.

a good caregiver is able to keep track of the patient’s medication and when medicines should be taken.

Patients often forget to take their medicines or they forget which ones to take so it’s the caregiver’s job to make sure that his or her ward is drinking the right medicine at the right time.

a good caregiver is a consummate professional.

Caregivers are not robots so it’s normal to expect that they will have “off” days due to a variety of reasons. However, it’s important not to let personal issues get in the way of their professional responsibilities. While this may be very hard, especially if the personal problem is serious and difficult to ignore, a caregiver’s first responsibility is to see to the needs of his or her patient.

If the caregiver feels that he or she cannot perform his or her duties without personal emotions getting in the way, then proper arrangements need to be made so the patient will not be negatively impacted by the circumstances.

Being a qualified caregiver involves more than just having adequate training and experience because many capable caregivers have had little or no formal education or background in the field. They, however, possess the qualities in this list and the sincere desire to help their patients to the best of their abilities.

 

References:

Good Qualities of a Caregiver: 
http://work.chron.com/good-qualities-caregiver-9470.html

10 Things That Make In-Home Caregivers Stand Out: 
https://www.caring.com/articles/best-in-home-caregiver-traits

Important Traits Every Caregiver Should Have: 
http://sonetosoftware.com/important-traits-caregiver/

Characteristics of Good Senior Home Care Providers: 
http://www.visitingangels.com/characteristics-of-good-senior-home-care-providers-article_65

The Top 10 Qualities of a Great Live-In Caregiver: 
http://www.liveincareforseniors.com/the-top-10-qualities-of-a-great-live-in-caregiver/

Characteristics of a Good Home Caregiver: 
http://careminderstucson.com/tucson-arizona-caregiver-characteristics-of-a-good-home-caregiver/

10 Personal Qualities Required for an Aged Care Worker: 
http://myihna.hubpages.com/hub/Personal-Qualities-Required-for-an-Aged-Care-Worker

4 Comments

  1. Thank you for such an uplifting read. The traits that you mentioned that I feel are the most important qualities I look for in a caregiver were the caregiver’s ability to have a sense of humor and to be mentally tough as well. My sister was in the hospital after breaking her arm last week. On the way to the there she was crying and screaming, but after meeting the doctor who joked with her, she was able to calm down immensely.

  2. Sadly, my grandma is at that age where she needs to either be put in a home or have caregiver come to her. She loves her home, so we are looking more into the caregiver side of it all. We weren’t sure what to look for at first, but after reading that a caregiver should not only look after my grandma, but nurture and build a relationship with them that makes them family. Now that we know that, we will better about finding and choosing one.

  3. As my mother ages I’ve been thinking more about hiring in-home care for her. I love what you mentioned about making sure the caregiver is physically fit. Mom has an increasingly hard time moving around and having someone that could always be there to help her get to where she needs to be would be such a comfort. Thanks for the great article.

  4. Thank you for the interesting read. You mentioned in this article that you should look for a personal care provider that is supportive and gives encouraging advice and words to your loved one. My grandfather is rather frail these days and I was wondering if we should hire some help. With support like this, I’m sure my grandfather would be more motivated to take care of himself and better his overall health.

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