Caregivers are responsible for the care and well-being of the individuals they’re aiding, so finding the right caregiver is crucial to their experience of in-home care. Usually, their responsibilities include bathing, dressing, feeding, medication administration, health care administration, and managing the overall safety of the patient. These tasks, while important, are just a fraction of what caregivers do that can influence the experience for your loved ones.
Remember, that they are spending the majority of the last years of your loved one’s life with them, so it is important to find caregivers who will treat your loved ones like family with respect. Finding the right caregiver that you and your loved ones need can be quite tricky, especially if you do not know what qualities and characteristics are crucial for a positive experience. That’s why we created a list of some of the most important qualities to look for in finding the right caregiver.
Person-centered care has now become the industry standard and this starts with empathetic caregivers. To give them the best care possible, caregivers need to be understanding of what your loved one is going through. Being able to empathise allows the caregiver to put themselves in their situation to tailor their service to identify and ease the patients ease and discomforts.
Patience and Flexibility
Rarely do things go as planned and because of this, patience and flexibility are absolute musts in caregivers. Plans change, things may not go as quickly as expected, and the patient may just not feel cooperative during a given day. Therefore, it is important that the caregiver is realistic in planning and is willing to adapt to the situation.
The caregiver has to love what they do. Caregivers who are happy and passionate with their responsibilities are willing to go that extra mile, will always look at the silver lining, will try towards solutions and their enthusiasm will create a positive environment for everyone.
Honest and Good Communication
Honesty helps build trust between the caregiver and their client, but as well as the family. Being able to communicate honestly about everyone’s concerns, preferences, limitations and capabilities is the foundation for any good relationship and team. Being able to communicate these in an honest and constructive way ensures in the highest quality of service for your loved one.
Support and Engagement
This specific trait is really about going above and beyond the professional responsibilities of the job itself, and at the same time this is what makes a good caregiver a great one. A supportive and encouraging caregiver will create an environment that both the caregiver and your loved ones can grow and learn in. This caregiver not only sees job as a set of tasks, but a growth opportunity for both them and your loved one.
While you can certainly find amazing caregivers, many may have very little professional experience. This quality is about finding the right experience that would best suit your loved one. Especially if your loved one has special needs that may require a particular certification or previous experience in. However, all experience does not directly equal good experience. So, it is important to address your loved ones and your family needs and resources when looking at the experience of potential caregivers.
Professionalism and Reliability
Professionalism encompasses the contractual agreements involved in healthcare service as well as maintaining a certain image throughout the duration of the service. This means being able to fulfil the services that the caregiver agrees with the patient and their families such as medication tracking, confidentiality, maintaining strong constitution while aiding in more sensitive tasks and everything else is involved in the service. But this also means not letting personal issues affect their service and professional responsibilities. A caregiver’s first responsibility is to see to the needs of their patient.
The caregiver must be ready and is expected to work in a consistent manner regardless of personal issues. If the personal circumstances cannot allow for that, then they should have a process in place so that your loved one is still able to receive their care that is agreed upon.
Job Requirements vs. What You and Your Family Requires
Finding the right caregiver means more than just finding the person with the most experience, the most certifications, or the most references, it’s about the intangibles. In other words, the job requirements are just a small part of the hiring process when looking through potential caregivers. It is important to understand what you and your families need and what resources you have and how the caregiver can best support everyone, especially the needs of your loved one.
It’s about soft skills and inner characteristics that are crucial for your loved one’s overall experience. Everything else can be taught, but when thinking about their caregiver, consider that they will be joining your team and family, and the goal is to provide everyone with the best experience possible and that is only possible by finding the right caregiver for you and your loved one.
At Care Within Reach, we look for these qualities when finding caregivers to add to our staff. Get in touch with us to learn more.