Caregiving is not a role for just anyone. Dedicating your life to helping others is an honorable vocation, but it has many challenges. Professional caregivers undergo hours of training to prepare for the job’s demands. But hard skills – technical knowledge – are only half of the equation when it comes to being a good caregiver.
Great caregivers embody certain soft skills that enable them to excel in their profession. Soft skills are character traits and interpersonal skills that describe who you are, not what you know. Unlike hard skills, you don’t typically learn soft skills in a classroom; they are part of your personality.
Caregivers require a special set of soft skills or personality traits, as this article outlines. If you’re looking for a professional caregiver for a senior parent, keep these ideal caregiver qualities in mind.
7 Ideal Caregiver Qualities
Patience is one of the most important qualities of a good caregiver. Seniors may take longer to complete daily tasks and, depending on their cognitive abilities, may ask repetitive questions or forget what they were trying to do entirely. It can be easy to get frustrated, but great caregivers patiently wait, answer the same questions, or repeat themselves as needed.
Compassionate caregivers are understanding and empathetic. Caregivers should be compassionate because the people they care for are often in vulnerable positions and may be going through difficult experiences. A compassionate caregiver can provide emotional support and comfort as the person they’re caring for deals with daily challenges, such as declining health or disabilities.
When older adults rely on someone else to help them perform activities of daily living (ADLs), canceling on them is not an option. One of the benefits of working with a home care agency is they always have a professional caregiver available to cover absences, ensuring your loved one never goes a day without proper care.
Another caregiver trait is confidence. Caregivers must be confident in the services they provide. Competence and confidence go hand in hand. One study showed that higher scores in caregiver preparedness were associated with higher scores in caregiver confidence. Confident caregivers are ready for whatever comes their way during the day, reassuring older adults that they are in good hands.
One of the best caregiver qualities that families of older adults look for is trustworthiness. Caregivers are invited into seniors’ homes and have access to all of their personal belongings and information. Family members want to know their loved ones aren’t being taken advantage of. This is one reason you may want to consider working with a professional home care agency instead of an independent caregiver.
Caregivers hold a very important position in the life of senior citizens, and the role shouldn’t be taken lightly. Professional caregivers take their jobs seriously and are fully capable of helping seniors who have varying needs. While they need to respect those they care for and maintain professionalism, being professional doesn’t mean caregivers can’t build friendly relationships with those in their care, as we’ll see next.
Professionalism is necessary, but you don’t want your loved one’s caregiver to be unfriendly or cold. You want someone who your parent feels comfortable with since they’ll be spending a lot of time together. Great caregivers have a healthy balance between being professional and personable. They take time to get to know your family and kindly care for your aging parent while conducting themself in a professional manner.
There are certainly other good caregiver qualities, but these are some of the most noteworthy soft skills every caregiver should possess. If you’re wondering how to hire a professional caregiver, contact Stowell Associates at 414-488-6491.
Senior Care Services for Families & Aging Loved Ones
The best senior care services are split between two key professionals: caregivers and care managers. Caregivers are the ones in your loved one’s home, physically supporting their unique needs on a regular basis. Care managers, on the other hand, work directly with families to manage and make decisions about their aging parent’s care.
At Stowell Associates, we offer geriatric care management services, while our partner, TheKey, employs professional caregivers that are trained to help older adults in their homes. Whether your senior family member needs general help around the house or memory care at home, TheKey has an in-home care solution.
Contact Stowell Associates at 414-488-6491 to learn more about how our team of geriatric professionals can support you and your aged loved ones.