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Selecting a Caregiver : Essential Personality Traits

Every day we receive calls from well intentioned individuals who believe that professional caregiving is the ideal career path for them. Maybe the prospective caregiver has recently cared for an elderly family member and feels that this experience has prepared her to enter the field as a professional. Others may be enticed by the notion that caring for an elderly person principally involves trips to the beauty shop and luncheons. A family member may assume the role of primary caregiver because she believes that no one else can do the job better.

Becoming a caregiver is definitely not for everyone. Only a select few have what it takes to be successful. Based on over 27 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. He/she derives satisfaction from making the difference in the life of another. This heart for caregiving will provide the energy and drive needed to sustain her 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 problem situations or overcome resistance. For example, a senior client may refuse to bath or take medications. Finding a way to ease tension and approach the task from a different angle 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. It can completely change the dynamics of the relationship with son/daughter taking on parental tasks. 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.

So, do you have what it takes to care for another? Does the family member or professional hired to care for Mom or Dad possess these key qualities? We hope so!

If not, contact Easy Living Services to learn more about the care we take when selecting a special caregiver for your family.

Consult Atlanta's most trusted source for quality Home Care assistance, Easy Living Services, Inc. We have supported Atlanta families in their efforts to keep loved ones fulfilled and safe at home since 1994. Call to discuss your specific needs, 770-442-8664 or visit us at:

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