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Five Things to Look for When Selecting a Caregiver

Posted by Debby Franklin on Mar 6, 2015 3:01:00 PM

nathaniel_and_mr_cato-1Becoming a caregiver is definitely not for everyone. Only a select few have what it takes to be successful. Based on twenty years of successful caregiver placements, we've compiled a list of the top personality traits for caregivers.
  1. Compassion & Empathy  A true professional caregiver feels a sense of calling to serve others.  They derive satisfaction from making the difference in the life of another.  This heart for caregiving will provide the energy and drive needed to sustain them during difficult tasks or while working with difficult individuals.
  2. Patience  Dealing with an uncooperative senior or listening to the same old story multiple times can become stressful to even the most dedicated caregivers.  Knowing when and how to appropriately "take a moment" to prevent losing one's patience is essential.
  3. Creative Thinking Skills  The successful caregiver will come up with inventive ways to deal with problems situations or overcome resistance.  For example, a senior client may refuse to bathe or take medications.  Finding a way to ease tension and approach the task from a different angel is paramount.
  4. Composure  Many tasks associated with providing personal care are unpleasant for caregiver and recipient, alike.  Often, family caregivers underestimate how uncomfortable it can be to assist a family member with bathing, dressing and grooming tasks.  Unfortunately, this can completely change the dynamics of the relationship with the family member.  Handling stressful or uncomfortable situations with confidence and grace is an important skill for all caregivers.
  5. Diplomacy  In a home care setting, caregivers are bound to encounter family members with differing ideas on how best to care for a loved one.  Conflicts are inevitable.  The professional caregiver uses diplomacy skills to diffuse tense situations and shift the focus back to the needs of the client.  Maturity is needed to manage disagreements effectively and positively.  Additionally, caregivers must refrain from giving unsolicited or personal advice, or commenting on non-care related issues.

About the Author:  Debby Franklin is President of Easy Living Services, an Atlanta-based home care agency that has been caring for seniors with Alzheimer's, Dementia and Cancer for over 20 years.  Easy Living offers flexible care plans designed to guarantee safety, comfort, companionship and personal attention to your loved one at home.

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Topics: caregiver