A senior’s personal hygiene, recuperation from surgery, and meal preparation are just a few of the things that can’t always be taken care of by a busy family. A caregiver can be the perfect solution. However, finding the right aide or companion is the important question. What are the top qualities of a great caregiver?
Integrity – Given the sensitive nature of things cared for by a caregiver (house keys, credit card, phone calls, sometimes paying bills) honesty is an all-important factor in the equation.
Awareness – A good caregiver is able to sense what a senior may not be able to communicate verbally. They know when something is “off” and how to act on it.
Caregivers Know What Must be Done – They have the energy and capability to take action. Elders can’t always communicate their needs and may not even know what’s wrong in the first place. A good caregiver takes action!
Enthusiasm and Compassion – The best caregivers love what they do and it shows! Elders face challenges from isolation and depression to confusion and financial worries. Caregivers will smile, laugh, listen, and do everything in their power to keep the seniors in their care happy.
Making Home a Home – Elders can lose the ability to keep a tidy house due to physical or mental issues. Caregivers know what’s needed to make a home more homey, whether it is music, comforting throws or baking a favorite treat.
The Big Picture – Sometimes it’s necessary to look past the obvious. Medications, dietary needs and underlying “silent” physical, mental and emotional issues that may have not been diagnosed need to be considered. They compose the complete picture of the senior. Expecting the unexpected is part of the job.
Flexibility – The best caregivers know when to slip in quietly and address what’s needed or to be a jovial presence. They know how to adapt to new people and circumstances. They intuitively know when to step up and do the right thing in a tough situation.
Getting Elders “Up and At ‘Em” – Although seniors have lived many years, they don’t have to act like it! Good caregivers get seniors walking, dancing, playing games, and doing all the things that they used to love to do.
Take Control When Needed – Sometimes, it takes strength to get the job done, emotionally, and physically. A good caregiver will do what they have to do to meet the senior’s needs, and won’t down until that has been accomplished.
Great Communicators – The best care relies on clear communication. Misunderstandings, overlooked issues, and health and safety predicaments can be avoided through clear, concise communication.
It can be tough to find the right caregiver but these tips will make the search easier. Remember this; compassion and courtesy are contagious. You won’t need radar to realize when the right person for your loved one is standing in front of you. You will see it and hear it.
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