When your parents or grandparents reach their senior years, it often becomes necessary to consider in-home help. With the rising population of elderly people in the world, the caregiver industry is becoming increasingly diverse. After talking with your elderly loved one about the type of care they need, you will have to choose the right provider.
So how do you find compatible caregivers, and what characteristics should you be focused on? Of course, when you hire a caregiver, you will want to look at their relevant education and work history. However, this doesn’t always tell the full story.
Considering that the caregiver you choose will become a daily part of your loved one’s life, personality traits can be equally as important as their education. Let’s take a look at some of the things you might not have thought of.
Sense of Humour
If your parent or grandparent has dementia, a sense of humour is an essential quality for an effective caregiver. This might sound a little off-colour, but the ability to see the funny side of tough situations makes for a much more resilient caregiver. Of course, there is nothing funny about Alzheimer’s. But if a caregiver is unable to be light-hearted around your elderly loved one, they probably won’t last very long.
When finding qualified caregivers for seniors, remember that keeping the atmosphere in the home fun and warm will strengthen the companionship your loved one will share with the caregiver.
Communication and Intuition
Depending on the disability level of your elderly loved one, the caregiver may need to understand what needs to be done without verbal communication. Even in cases where your mom only needs some light housekeeping done, the person you hire needs to be aware of and respect specific requirements.
I know when my mom says to stay out of the kitchen, she means it!
Communication skills are also vital when talking about a patient’s medical care, and any potential safety issues with employers and the family. If a problem arises, or your caregiver needs to take a sick day, everyone needs to be on the same page.
When companionship forms a large part of the care your loved one needs, creativity is essential. Coming up with new activities is part of fostering a fulfilling lifestyle and reducing problems such as depression.
Similarly, the ability to create new ways for your loved one to accomplish tasks is vital. Encouraging them to be as independent as possible, boosts self-esteem and creates an atmosphere of mutual respect.
Passion for the Work
Exceptional caregivers are those who have a true calling for the work. Caring for your elderly loved one should not be a chore for any true professional. When a caregiver has a passion for their job, they are more attentive, enthusiastic, and thoughtful.
Imagine how good it would make your grandmother feel to get a personalized card for her birthday. Even little things can significantly improve a patient’s quality of life, and those who are genuinely committed to the profession will go above-and-beyond.
Works with the Family
Families are all different, and not everything always runs smoothly. When your elderly loved one requires in-home care, it can be a particularly stressful time. Qualified caregivers should always be aware of possible family disagreements and deal with them professionally.
A good caregiver will know when to be discreet during family visits, or tough times. They should also be able to get along well with children in the family and any other regular visitors to the home.
Trustworthy and Reliable
Agency caregivers all go through rigorous background checks. Whether you hire with an agency or individually, this peace of mind is essential. A qualified caregiver should be reliable about their work schedule. Having to call a replacement at the last minute can often be uncomfortable for seniors in care. Not to mention stressful for the rest of the family.
Your elderly loved one’s care is a serious responsibility for a caregiver. When choosing who you would like to hire, consider these and many other qualities before making your final choice. Getting to know the characteristics of a suitably qualified caregiver could be vital for ensuring your loved one’s quality of life. While education is important, the ability to truly connect with your loved one is the hallmark of in-home care.