What Makes a Great Caregiver?

Are you kind, caring, compassionate, and patient? Do you have a love of serving others and a desire to help people, especially the elderly, improve their quality of life? Do you enjoy spending time with older adults? Then you might be interested in how to become a caregiver pro. In addition to these important character traits, an effective professional caregiver must:

  • Be reliable and dependable, and generally act in a professional manner.
  • Communicate clearly and effectively with clients, their families, and other healthcare professionals–and if needed, law enforcement officers or attorneys.
  • Get along well with sometimes-difficult personalities, and be willing to build a positive patient and caregiver relationship.
  • Have mental, emotional, and physical stamina.
  • Have a basic knowledge of health care terms, medical conditions, and medications.
  • Be sensitive to family situations and crises.
  • Be literate enough to follow written orders and leave messages as well as read and understand prescription medication labels.
  • Have reliable transportation and a mobile phone.
  • Be honest and willing to put the health and well-being of the care recipient first.

Managing the Challenges of Being a Caregiver

Being a professional primary caregiver can be a very rewarding profession, but it can also be a challenging one. A paid caregiver works hard for their pay, which is not always as high as could be wished. There may not be any paid leave, and the hours could be long. It will be important to contract with the right home care agency to ensure that needs for pay and adequate time off are met.

In-home caregivers, especially those who have been providing long-term care, can be prone to burnout, as care recipients can be demanding and the work can be physically and emotionally draining. Older adults living with alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia or mental illness could strain the patience of even the most kind-hearted. A person with developmental disabilities, or one who needs end-of-life care could also be a challenge for any certified caregiver.

Therefore it is important for caregivers to protect their own mental health and plan time for their own self-care, with activities that will help restore their energy and keep their spirits high. If you are a home care aide, you can even receive caregiver