Being responsible for another individual can be daunting. A lot of us find it fulfilling to take care of the people we love immensely and who matter a great deal in our lives. But what happens when, you need to hire someone else to take care of a dear one?
From maintaining personal hygiene and cleaning body fluids discharge to dealing with complete incoherence, dependence and absence of any recognition and memory, professional caregivers address the most sensitive, vulnerable and difficult aspects of a helpless individual’s life. This makes it a tough and a demanding job.
What qualities do the best caregivers possess? Let’s have a look.
This is one quality that every caregiver needs to possess. Those under the care of someone they don’t really know are often scared, confused and extremely vulnerable. To take good care of such people, caregivers need to put themselves in the care recipient’s shoes. They need to empathize with their patients.
When caregivers are able to empathize with the patient, they establish a connection with him/her. They understand why the patient is behaving the way he/she is. They understand nuances like why someone with Alzheimer’s keeps asking the same question repeatedly even though they have responded several times, and why someone is scared to let them go away even for a minute.
A caregiver who is empathetic displays kindness, patience, understanding, and love towards their patient.
2. Ability to Handle Delicate Situations
Caregivers require both, precision and presence of mind in their profession. Dealing with people suffering from terminal illness, paralysis, mental disorders, and disabilities is a challenging task and requires an individual who does not get overwhelmed or perturbed in demanding situations.
What should be done when someone with paralysis suffers from a fall, or when a patient is unable to control his body motions and bodily fluids discharge? Such situations will be frequently faced by a caregiver, and require great mental dexterity.
Caregiving is not one of those jobs that allows the professional to make a schedule and stick to it. A significant trait that a caregiver must possess is flexibility to be able to provide quick, helpful responses to unexpected situations.
The health condition of the patient can change in a minute. The care provider may need to extend his/her shift indefinitely. In certain cases, a professional is assigned a patient out of the blue or asked to change patients on short or no notice. Being able to adapt to any circumstance is a must-have quality in a caregiver.
4. Strong Sense of Responsibility and Dependability
Those who need care have typically lost their abilities, judgment, and the capability to function independently, completely, or partially. Caregivers are solely responsible for the people they care for in absence of their loved ones. Their lives and everyday functionality depend on their assistance and care.
Whether it is to take a bath, have a complete meal, take medicines and get better, get dressed, or go to the bathroom, patient’s need assistance. Some of them may be completely immobile, others may be suffering from diseases like advanced Parkinson’s, arthritis, dementia, and Alzheimer’s. To help them live a safe and a fulfilling life, a caregiver needs to have a strong sense of responsibility and a ‘patient-first’ approach.
5. Motivating and Cheerful Personality
Care delivered in frustration or impatience barely does any good to anyone. Recovery and caregiving is just as much about psychological sustenance and the well-being of an individual as it is about his/her physical health. On the other hand, caregivers often tend to get frustrated with the constant demands of their profession. They become cynical and impatient with their patients. This can impact the patient’s psychological health.
Those being cared for need constant motivation in their life. They need that dose of smile and happiness to improve their condition as well as to retain their zeal and passion for life. Besides, patients respond better to an enthusiastic and lively attitude.
When looking for caregivers for home health care, do not ignore this quality. Your loved one will recover and live better if you have a jovial and optimistic caregiver.
6. Ability to Balance Excessive Care and Too Little Care
Caring too much can also be a problem because it can lead to complete loss of independence in the patient. A good caregiver knows how to strike the balance between providing adequate care and making the care recipient complete as many tasks as possible by himself/herself without feeling fatigued or injured. This helps prevent the loss of physical and mental abilities in patients.
The challenge arises mostly because most of us are living lives at a hurried and rushed pace. Caregivers need to be patient. The recipient should be allowed to try to do things by himself/herself even if it takes time. The caregiver’s responses cannot be painted with irritation, frustration, and anger. By doing everything for the patient, caregivers can end up increasing their dependability and thus obstruct their path to recovery.
Caregiver services providers should avoid doing things for patients that they can do themselves and instead, assist them with the other daily activities of life, wherein they actually need help.
7. Be Passionate about Helping
It’s passion, ultimately, that drives people to perform better. Caregiving is no exception. There has to be a deep desire to take care of and heal people that extends beyond money and professional gains. It’s this passion that will make caregivers stand strong on a bad day and take care of someone with a smile.
It’s passion that makes a caregiver want to know more about the individual they are caring for and the condition they are suffering from. Such a caregiver will constantly look for ways to perform his/her job better and enrich the lives of their patients.
When you are looking for someone to take care of your dear ones, you will want nothing less than the best. Look for the above traits in a caregiver for your loved one. Take into account his/her overall personality, the preparedness and commitment towards the job. Finally, evaluate if they can provide compassionate and dignified care to your loved ones.