Being a caregiver to seniors is a rewarding but challenging occupation. LivHOME is always on the lookout for qualified caregivers who are experienced, but we require other traits as well! Here are five traits that will help make you a successful caregiver.
Compassion is the most important trait that a caregiver can have. Compassion is the ability to empathize with others and have concern for their well-being. It means you can imagine yourself in the elder’s position and treat him the way that you would want to be treated with care and concern. It also means that you will consider the needs of the senior in your care to be your top priority.
A cheerful nature goes a long way in making a caregiver successful. Many times caring for a senior may be challenging but cheerfulness will help get the job done. Elders often face loneliness and depression and your positive attitude goes a long way in making the senior feel comfortable. You can help them adopt an “I can” attitude when you are enthusiastic about your job and their abilities.
At all times, a caregiver should be respectful and that often requires a good deal of patience. You must be able to remain calm even in the face of frustration. Seniors have often lost the physical or mental abilities that they once had and may become frustrated themselves. If you can remain calm, you will be able to care for them appropriately while allowing them to maintain some independence.
Dealing with family members may also require patience but remember that they usually want the best for their loved one as well. The ability to remain calm and collected will help reassure the family that you have the interests of the senior at the top of your priority list.
Caring for anyone is a commitment. Your employer must be able to trust that you will be there to do the job you agreed to. Your senior must be able to trust you as well. It has been difficult for the elder to lose his or her independence and they must be able to rely on you. As a professional caregiver, you must have as much concern and commitment to the care of your patient as if he or she were your own elder.
You need to be willing to learn new things as a caregiver. Whether the new things are specifically about the care of the elder or whether you are learning something new from the elder himself, remaining “teachable” is essential. Everyone can learn, you just have to be willing.
Successful caregivers are compassionate, patient, reliable and enthusiastic with a commitment to caring for others, remaining teachable so that they have more care to give.
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