Finding a caregiver for a loved one can be a daunting task. They’ll need to be reliable, trustworthy, competent, and compassionate. But how do you know what to look for? There are some key qualities that go towards making someone into an excellent caregiver.
Patience is a virtue, and is probably the single most important virtue in caregiving. Caring for someone, especially an elder who requires constant assistance with many basic tasks, can be trying at times. Caregivers will need to remain calm and patient at all times in the face of challenges, and a caregiver with a short temper may not be cut out for the job.
The heart of caregiving is compassion. Good caregivers should care genuinely about the well-being of the person they are responsible for caring for. Their ultimate goal should be to make the life of their charge as comfortable as possible.
Caregiving is a demanding job and caregivers must be reliable and responsible. Showing up on time consistently is a requirement, as is following through on tasks, and being accountable.
Depending on the individual needs of the person being cared for, a certain amount of physical strength and stamina may be required. Someone in a wheelchair may need assistance being lifted into and out of the bath or bed, and require help with other tasks requiring supporting their weight like assistance with dressing, bathing, and using the toilet.
And as with any relationship, effective communication is key. A good caregiver should be able to communicate with the person they’re caring for, as well as with family members and other healthcare professionals.