When looking to become a personal caregiver (or to hire one), it is important to know what makes a good caregiver. Even more important is knowing what makes a good one, great. The position you or the person you hire holds is pivotal to the quality of life for the subject at hand, and that is a both a privilege and a responsibility. From inside of the industry, these are the top qualities and traits a great caregiver posses:
A good personality is the simplest ingredient to consider, but also the most important at the same time. As a caregiver, having an outgoing, friendly, relatable personality allows for a connection to be made on the first day with the patient. Being easy to have a conversation with builds a comfortable relationship. Another key aspect of personality is compassion. Someone who is at a point in life where they can no longer support themselves on their own needs a great deal of compassion. There will often be days where they feel self pity or wake up with a dull attitude, but that all can be changed with a healthy smile and supportive shoulder to lean on.
Being a caregiver requires self-motivation and organization, as you are unsupervised for the majority of the time. Obstacles can easily get in the way and excuses can become common, especially when commuting back and forth. Having prior references and testimonials are an easy way for a new patient/employer to see your record of being reliable, which will directly affect the trust factor of the relationship.
Honesty doesn’t just mean that the client in this circumstance can trust you to not steal. It also means that you will be on time, handle your responsibilities in full, and make sure they are equipped to take care of themselves as well while you are gone. You are performing a service in your client’s home, which is very different from the majority of other jobs. Being honest often comes back around and will lead to more opportunities as a trusted caregiver.
A key difference between a good caretaker and a great caretaker often times is the years of experience they have in this field. With the right personality traits, you will get better over time, and as you expand number of clients you have worked with. Learning how to adapt with changing circumstances, handle adversity, and develop your personality will benefit your skill set. As you work with more clients, you will work with different personalities, energy levels, and ailments that require different attention, which will prepare you for anything that comes your way in the future.
Treating your elderly patients as you would want to be treated always comes full circle and will make the job more enjoyable. Forming relationships and becoming a cornerstone of these people’s latter lives is a great opportunity and one you should rejoice to have. Our medical staffing team in Columbia and the Mid-Missouri area is committed to hiring the best caregivers around, especially ones who want to grow in this field! If you are passionate about this field, great things will come your way.