Caregiving is hard work. It is requires much more than an altruistic wish to help others. Effective caregivers have to be resilient and patient, calm yet decisive. Here are five qualities that are common to great caregivers. If you share these traits, you should consider becoming a caregiver with LIVHome.
If you are patient and can remain calm in the face of illness, conflict and difficult decision-making, then you have what it takes to be a caregiver. The people in your care may become frustrated and resentful of those caring for them. Families present complex dynamics that must be navigated to protect the best interests of the patient. If you are patient, then you have a quality important for care giving and one that will guide you in reducing stress and improving care for your patient.
Caregivers must be empathetic with the plight of their patient, even if they have never been sick a day in their lives. Chronic illness creates difficulties for the ill person beyond the physical effects; it can impact their ability to clearly process information, may cause depression and can incite anger. Patients may feel vulnerable, trapped and fear they have permanently lost control over their lives. The ability to empathize with their pain and suffering can defuse many situations, and create a foundation of kindness on which care can be built.
Mindful and Sensible
If you are able to remain level headed in the midst of uncertainty, then you are certainly cut out to be a caregiver. You may have to clean up bodily fluids, bathe your patient, or conduct other highly personal tasks. The ability to do so while remaining matter-of-fact and sensible in your approach will comfort your patient and help to reduce embarrassment and shame. A sensible, realistic approach to the care giving role will allow you to roll with the tide, alternately encouraging the patient to do things for themselves, while recognizing days when that is not possible.
Relaxed with a sense of humor
Perhaps nothing serves a caregiver better in their daily role than a sense of humor. Humor can make difficult situations easier for everyone involved. Illness wears on the patient, gradually reducing their ability to hope for better health, and soaking up any foundation of good humor they may have had. With humor, caregivers can bring light, hope and an easy countenance to the situation. Laughter truly is the best medicine and can reduce emotional and mental pain for the patient and the family. Humor can also help the patient and professional caregiver to develop a positive relationship. It can help a parent adjust to a child being in charge. If you are caring for a loved one, humor will get you through the toughest, most heartbreaking moments and carry you to the other side.