Qualities To Look For In a Caregiver

Updated on August 11, 2021

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Choosing the right professional caretakers for your loved one is going to be one of the most important decisions that you make. You need to find someone who is not only licensed but someone who can provide the right care and attention to your loved one while being kind in the process. The right personality can also make a difference as well. 

There are many people in the healthcare field who are not kind or may make you nervous when they are near your loved one, which is why you should be careful when making the decision. When it is time to pick the person who will provide care to an elderly loved one, look for some of these important qualities first:

1.     Their Personality

Personality is going to be one of the most important qualities to look for when picking out a caregiver. IT does not matter how much training they have. If they have a bad attitude and can’t get along with their patients, they are not a good choice. 

When you are interviewing a potential caregiver, you should ask questions to help you get a sense of their compassion, empathy, selflessness, and patience. You can also look at how much they talk. Some patients want one who will be chatty and want to talk to them all day and others would like someone who is a bit quieter so looking for that can be important. 

Whether your loved one is getting care all day long or just for a few hours a day, you need to make sure the personalities of the two people are compatible. Always be wary if the candidate comes to you with a list of things they refuse to do. Unless it has to do with them not being qualified medically to do it, the candidate should be open to being as helpful as possible. 

2.     Experience

Once you feel comfortable with the personality of the candidate, it is time to take a look at their experience. You do not necessarily have to pick someone who has the most experience, but you should look to see if they have the experience and the comfort handling needs similar to what your loved one will need. 

For example, if your loved one has dementia, it is helpful to work with someone who has experience in that area. This can provide you with some peace of mind as the caregiver will know how to handle some of the situations that dementia or other health conditions can cause. 

3.     Training

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You should look at some of the training that the caregiver has as well. Both informal and formal training can provide you with the best caregiver around. The tasks that your loved one is going to need help with will determine the exact kind of training that you will look for as well. 

If you are uncertain what training is necessary to provide assistance to a loved one, discuss this with your doctor. They can give you some idea of who will be qualified and even give you a list of the right candidates that you can start with as well. 

4.     Honesty and Reliability

Along with some of the things above, you should look for a caregiver who is reliable and honest. Never hire any caregiver, no matter how good they look on paper, without looking at their references. When you look at some of their previous employers, you will start to find out more about how honest and how reliable this individual can be. 

First of all, this helps to verify that this new caregiver is not going to steal from the home of your loved one or put the wrong number of hours on a timesheet they use to bill you. If there are any suspicions about this, you should pick someone else to do the work. 

You also want someone who is reliable all the time. You do not want to hire someone who never shows up, is always late, or disappears without any information all the time. While your caregiver may need to take some time off on occasion, even for emergencies, they need to be reliable enough to tell you and let you know, without just being silent. 

5.     Accountability

You need to be proactive to make sure that your loved one is getting the help that they need. You may need to ask some questions to learn more about the caregiver and whether they can accept personal responsibility for their actions. This is so important when you are trusting someone to take care of your loved one. 

After a few well-placed questions, you should be able to get a better sense of this. Do you feel like they take responsibility for something they do wrong or are they more likely to place the blame elsewhere when things go wrong? You may have to listen to your gut on this one because most candidates are not going to come right out and say this. 

If your gut feeling seems off with them and you worry about their personal accountability, then it is better to go with that instinct. You can find other qualified candidates who will do a great job without the risk that something bad will happen to your loved one with the original caregiver you passed up. 

Choosing the Right Caregiver

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There are many caregivers out there that you can choose from to provide your loved one with some of the help they need around the home. This can give you a break and ensures that you are able to do other things while your loved one is still being watched over and given the medical care they need. 

Not all caregivers are going to work for your needs though. Some may not have the right experience and others are going to have the wrong personality. With the help of the suggestions and qualities above, you will be able to pick the perfect caregiver for your loved one. 

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