Top Qualities of Excellent Caregivers
Choosing a caregiver for an elderly loved one is a huge decision, and it’s common for relatives to become overwhelmed with the relevant information and concerns. Starting with a checklist of excellent qualities to look for in potential caregivers is one way family members can reduce the chance of hiring someone who isn’t a right fit for the job.
Regardless of the functionality level of the person being cared for, professional caregivers must exude an enormous amount of patience. An older person who needs care might move slowly, experience lapses in memory or be unable to do certain things for themselves. Caregivers should be able to listen to and respond to the same stories repeatedly and show compassion and understanding when someone struggles with a task.
Organized and Detail-Oriented
A professional caregiver might have to assist someone with medication, diet, or exercise requirements. That requires organizational skills, the ability to stick to a schedule, and close attention to detail. Families don’t want to hire someone who might regularly provide the wrong medications or overlook diet restrictions.
Willing to Try New Things
Caregivers who will spend hours each day with an elderly person need to be able to adjust to the needs and interests of the person they are caring for. That might include trying new foods, playing games, or enjoying new hobbies. The best caregivers don’t have a comfort zone that is too restricting, and they are always willing to step outside that zone for the benefit of the person they are assisting.
Appropriate Training and Certifications
Good caregivers want to provide the best possible service to their clients, so they invest in training and education. Families should ask potential caregivers about past training and find out if candidates are certified in critical skills such as CPR.
Caregivers who are too rigid about scheduling might not be there when an elderly person needs them most. Families might look for caregivers who can work flexible hours. At the very least, loved ones should consider candidates with schedule requirements that meet the needs of the family and the older individual in question.
Searching for a caregiver does take some time, but families who look for a caregiver with these important qualities will probably find a better match and be happier long-term.