Five Qualities of a Great CAREGiver

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Sometimes familial relationships can be stressed when a loved one is caring for an aging family member.

Oftentimes, families will look for in-home caregiving assistance either on a limited basis, so a family caregiver can seek solace and alone time or run errands and take care of chores. Regardless of the situation, there are five key qualities that make a CAREGiver stand out.

According to Angil Tarach-Ritchey, R.N., and C.G.M., those qualities are empathy, dependability, patience, strength and flexibility. Tarach-Ritchey, who has decades of experience in this field, is a nationally known expert in senior care and advocacy and has written several books on this subject. Below are the key characteristics behind each CAREGiver quality that Tarach-Ritchey pinpoints:

Empathy – Tarach-Ritchey said empathy is primarily inherent and some can empathize more than others. She said individuals should question themselves as to how they would want to be treated and taken care of if they were in similar circumstances. 

Dependability – If someone needs care and assistance, a bit of their independence has been lost. That can be difficult for some people to deal with, so good caregivers try and can imagine how difficult it is to lose the independence of fixing food, bathing, getting dressed and running errands. It can be difficult to find reliable care to help step in and fill that void, so Tarach-Ritchey said caregivers must be dependable when a senior’s life lies in their ability to offer care.

Patience – After children, most care recipients are seniors. Sometimes, the care they need stems from injury, physical illness, stroke recovery or Alzheimer’s. Each of this situations are the cause for special care and caregivers must be patient when the person they’re caring for cannot move or process quickly. Tarach-Ritchey recommends caregivers allow a person to try and do as much as they can for themselves, but be sure to give them ample time.
Strength – Whether your care recipient is having a bad day or you are, you may need to dig deep within yourself and find the strength to take a deep breath, take a break and find that aforementioned patience. Also, recognize your weaknesses, Tarach-Ritchey said, and know when you might need additional help.  

Flexibility – A situation can change in the blink of an eye when caring for another. The ability to be flexible is crucial. A care recipient may suddenly fall ill, your schedule may change. Caregiving is a great fit for those who can adapt to change quickly and accept those changes easily, Tarach-Ritchey said.  
If you are interested in becoming a professional CAREGiver with Home Instead Senior Care, please call us at
412-595-7554 or visit



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