Choosing the right caregiver to look after the needs of your elderly parent or loved one can be a challenging prospect to say the least. Reports of senior abuse proliferate the news, and you may be weary and reluctant to trust the health and well being to just any caregiver.
Ideally, every caretaker would go to extent that companies like Above and Beyond assisted living services does to make sure that your elderly loved ones are receiving the care and attention that they deserve. But how can you be sure if a caregiver is the right individual to help look after your loved one?
In this article we have assembled a list of qualities to look for in a senior caregiver.
One exceedingly important quality that a senior caregiver should exhibit is compassion. Compassion motivates people to go out of their way to help the physical, mental, or emotional pains of another and themselves. Merriam-Webster defines compassion as a “sympathetic consciousness of others’ distress together with a desire to alleviate it.” And it is apparent why this quality is an important one for caretakers to display.
Compassionate people are very outward-focused because they think and feel about other people, and have the ability to feel the the emotions of others. Caring people are not by default good caretakers however, especially if they do not possess the necessary organizational skills to do do the job.
2. Organizational Skills
Good organizational skills are an important quality for a caretaker to possess. Many seniors rely on medications to keep them in health, or to alleviate the symptoms of chronic illnesses. As such, a good caretaker should have the skills necessary to keep up with the medication regimens of their client.
Caretakers should also be able to help manage and keep track of doctors appointments and the like. Many seniors require regular doctor’s visits to keep on top of their medical conditions, and a caretaker should be able to assist with these details.
Individuals who provide home care to others need to be patient. This means 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. It is for these reasons that patience is a virtue for health aides and caretakers.
Senior citizens do not in most cases have the same mobility as a healthy young adult, and as such may take longer to finish simple tasks that able bodied younger adults take for granted. Furthermore, senior citizens may also become frustrated easily, or display signs of confusion or other deleterious effects due to conditions such as Alzheimer’s, vascular dementia, and other dementia related conditions. Patience is of the utmost importance, especially when caring for seniors with these types of medical conditions.
Seniors and older adults who need home care don’t usually just need it sporadically. Most who need home care, require care on a regular basis, so it is important that a caregiver be dependable, and show up to provide the care that the person needs and is counting on.
Dependability in any line of work leads to consistency, and consistency is very important for maintaining the day to day routine of senior citizens without too much disturbance or deviation from the routines that they are accustomed to.
A patient, especially an elderly one, needs constant care and attention. It’s the caregiver’s job, to be attentive to those needs even if the patient does not, or is not able to communicate them.
Paying close attention to the patient’s needs is also vital because in many cases, the patient is unaware that they require help from their caregivers, and with little or no warning, the caregiver must respond to those needs to avoid unexpected, inappropriate, or inconvenient. events.
5. Communication Skills
Good communication is of paramount importance in all successful relationships. This is exceedingly true when it comes to the relationship a caregiver has with their patient, and the patient’s family as well.
Being able to effectively communicate crucial details regarding the patient’s care in clear and simple terms fosters understanding and trust. This also helps the caregiver perform his or her job better.
Caregivers do far more than just look after their patients and attend to their needs. They nurture, and foster a bond that makes them almost a part of the family. Sometimes, they provide more than what is required of them.
Many patients spend a majority of the last years of their lives with their caregivers, so it is important for families to find home health aides who will treat their loved ones like their own. These are some of the important qualities that one should look for in a capable caregiver.
If you have any experience choosing a caregiver for your aging parent or relative, leave a comment and share your experience in the section below and let us know what characteristics you would look for in a senior caregiver.