There are 53.0 million caregivers around the country. When looking at caregivers for adults only, the prevalence of caregiving has increased by 8 million adults. Some caregivers work for home care agencies, others work independently, and others don’t “work” at all but are family caregivers who pitch in to help loved ones.
No matter what type of in-home caregiver a person may be, there are standard and essential traits that most seem to possess to perform caregiving duties successfully. When you can identify that the person has these common traits, you will know that your loved one is in pretty good hands.
Best traits a CAREGiver can have:
Those who provide home care to others need to be patient. Being patient means that the person understands that there may be changes in plans, things may not go as quickly as planned, and there may be a little hesitation at times on the part of the person receiving care. Most in-home care clients deal with challenges of one type or another: significant mental and/or physical ailments, limited communication abilities, and more. Clients may be irrational or critical (or both), require cleanups after accidents, and otherwise lead to frustrating situations. Caregivers need to remain calm in these scenarios, so having a clear and collected personality is essential for successful patient care.
When someone has compassion for another, they understand what the person is going through and can tune in to other people’s distress and feel a desire to alleviate it. This attribute is first on the list because many home care clients are in distressing and even painful situations, such as recovering from surgery or losing their memory to Alzheimer’s. As a result, being caring and empathetic is essential in terms of qualities for caregivers. Compassion may not be a “hard” skill the way clinical know-how or time management is, but it’s no less vital to caregiver work.
It is important when providing in-home care that the caregiver is attentive to the needs and changes that are taking place. By being attentive, the caregiver will notice when there are emotional or physical changes in the person he or she is caring for. Being a great caregiver means adapting your care when necessary to meet the evolving needs of those you serve. Caregiving goes beyond accommodating the client’s physical needs – it’s also about spending time with them and being a good listener!
Those who need home care don’t usually just need it sporadically. Instead, it is regular, so it is imperative that a caregiver be dependable and shows up to provide the care that the person needs and is counting on. Commitment to one’s job means that the patient and the patient’s family can depend on you. These are crucial traits because the patient is left entirely in the caregiver’s hands more often than not.
Caregivers are often in a position that will allow them to have access to the belongings of the person they are caring for. Therefore, it is crucial that the caregiver be trustworthy and will not breach that trust by taking advantage of the person they are caring for. Honesty and trustworthiness are indispensable qualities in a caregiver, particularly with the live-in ones entrusted with the patient’s health care and the patient’s home and resources.
Home care services are on the rise as more people find that it is an affordable option that allows people at any point within the aging process to stay in the comfort of their own home. So, if you are a caregiver with the traits listed above and want to make a genuine difference in someone’s life, Home Instead is looking for you! Look at the open positions at Home Instead to become a CAREGiver today.