12 Qualities to Look for in a Caregiver
When seeking a caregiver, you want to ensure you know the top qualities to look for. When seeking a caregiver, you want to ensure you know the top qualities to look for. Trusting the safety and health of your loved one to a stranger can be overwhelming, frightening, and stressful. You realize that caregiving is about meeting physical needs and providing encouragement and a strong support system. While there are a wide variety of personality types, there are certain qualities that successful caregivers have in common.
If you seek a professional caregiver, recognizing these qualities in your potential candidates can give you more peace of mind. You can rest, knowing a capable, compassionate, and competent caregiver is helping your loved one.
Here are 12 qualities to look for in a caregiver for your loved one.
1. Be Present
A genuinely great caregiver knows how important it is to stay in the moment. While letting your mind wander is easy, a caregiver should recognize the value of being fully present.
2. Remembers the Details
A caregiver should not only remember the details of doctor’s appointments, medications, and errands, but they should also remember the things that are important to your loved one. For example, a caregiver takes note of special occasions and favorite foods. Remembering the details also enables caregivers to better plan for emergencies, create helpful schedules, and organize critical information.
3. It’s Okay to Laugh
Life can sometimes be challenging, and aging holds many of its own challenges. Finding something to laugh about can make difficult situations more manageable. A great sense of humor helps a caregiver reduce stress and tension over physical, emotional, or mental challenges.
We aren’t talking about the Polyanna positivity, but a deep sense of “joie de vivre” – an exuberance about life. A caregiver’s underlying emotions should be positive. Optimism encourages a better outlook in people, improving your quality of life and the desire to do better!
There are days when taking care of someone can be frustrating. It is normal to experience exasperation, but a competent caregiver knows how to manage emotions and not take your loved one’s challenging days personally.
6. Keep it Professional
While everyone has off days, leaving your personal issues at home is important. This is especially true when your work is someone else’s home. The caregiver’s mood impacts your loved one. If your caregiver rides an emotional roller-coaster, chances are your loved one will be along for the ride. Regulating your emotions is an important element of a professional demeanor.
Professionalism also means setting appropriate boundaries. Yes, a caregiver should connect with your loved one. But, your caregiver should never violate professional boundaries by doing things for clients that are not part of their tasks or breaking state regulations.
Every caregiver has a variety of skills to address multiple caregiving situations. However, an excellent caregiver will adapt to changing conditions to provide the best care. Human beings do not follow scripts or manuals, and it is often necessary to change the schedule based on your loved one’s needs. When your loved one is trying to tell a caregiver how they are feeling, the caregiver needs to listen and adjust the day’s schedule accordingly.
A flexible mindset enables a caregiver to adapt to your loved one’s changing needs with patience, positivity, and educated solutions.
9. Empathy and Compassion
It is easy to use these two terms interchangeably. However, empathy refers to our ability to take the perspective of and feel another person’s emotions. On the other hand, compassion is when those feelings and thoughts include the desire to help. Identifying with the feelings of clients, a great caregiver takes into consideration the challenges your loved one is experiencing and responds appropriately.
Integrity translates into being honest, regardless of how easy it might be to take advantage of a situation. A caregiver can have all the best traits, but without integrity, your loved one is vulnerable.
Hiring a caregiver from a reputable company can help give you peace of mind. Most caregiving companies require an extensive background check before employment.
11. Excellent Communication Skills
A home caregiver needs to communicate with your loved one and you. If your caregiver can not show up for the day or has personal needs, they will communicate this in advance. In addition, a caregiver is comfortable and competent at relaying information from doctors or other appointments to you in clear and simple terms. A caregiver will help you stay informed about changes in the health and well-being of your loved one.
12. Physically Fit and a Strong Constitution
A home caregiver needs to possess not only strong emotional and mental traits but also physical strength and stamina. Caregiving often requires assisting people with their daily needs, such as helping them bathe, use the restroom, or get out of bed. Recognizing you can not take care of others if you do not take care of yourself, a caregiver prioritizes their own health and wellness. In addition, home caregivers are not intimidated by bodily functions.
There is no perfect caregiver, but identifying these qualities in a candidate can help you find the right person for your loved one. At Close to Home Caregivers, we hire professional, passionate, compassionate, and competent staff. Our caregivers make our company great, and we dedicate extensive time to ensuring we hire the best. Discover what services we offer, or reach out today for a free consultation.