When looking to hire a caregiver for a loved one, there are certain traits and characteristics that are essential to success. There are five obvious traits to look for that are innate personality characteristics shared by all great caregivers.
The first traits that are non-negotiable in effective caregivers are:
- 1. Patience
- 2. Trustworthiness
- 3. Flexibility
- 4. Understanding / Empathy
- 5. Confidence
Caregiving is really more an art than a science. The person being cared for must be at the center of each day’s focus. Their moods, medical condition and cognition must be understood and accommodated each and every day. This is not a job for the faint hearted. Patience must lie at the core of every caregiver’s approach to the role. Successfully caring for another human being who is aging and needs various levels of care means being patient with the frailties, memory and mobility issues that may occur.
Flexibility goes hand in hand with patience. No two days are going to be the same and a planned day at the park may be sidelined because of physical issues. Emotional upsets may require a change in the daily schedule to soothe the elderly person, and family members may require different scheduling arrangements without advance notice.
One cannot hire a caregiver that does not exude understanding and empathy. When all the medicine has been taken and the exercises completed, the most important healing takes place with understanding and empathy; understanding that the elderly person may still feel young inside, though infirmed physically; understanding that he or she has not chosen to be frail, and may still be of sound mind, looking for great conversation. Empathy will carry the day when all else fails. Pain and loneliness can be soothed with empathy. Caregiving doesn’t always mean making lunch, collecting the mail and talking. Sometimes being empathetic and sitting to share quiet moments with the person under care can serve as a warm blanket of human kindness.
Of course when hiring a caregiver, the family must be confident in their abilities. Likewise, the caregiver must come holding a bank of confidence in their abilities to deliver care and handle all of the unexpected scenarios that will crop up when caring for a senior. This is a very important factor because confidence breeds confidence. The senior requiring additional care will quickly sense if the caregiver is confident or not and that will either breed trust or destroy it.
And that brings us to the element of trustworthiness. The caregiver must be trustworthy beyond question, able to care for the senior with confidence, compassion and trust. It is what lies at the core of caregiver services at LivHOME. We understand how difficult it is for all members of the family or advisors when finding the right amount of care support for those in need. Our highly trained Care Managers are skilled at looking at all aspects of our clients’ life and work in concert with the family and advisors to develop a plan that affords independence and quality.