5 Qualities to Look for in a Caregiver

  • January 20, 2016
5 Qualities to Look for in a Caregiver

As your loved one ages, it’s important to be aware of the warning signs that your loved one needs help at home. You may notice one or multiple warning signs, but either way, it’s a sign that now may be the best time to hire a caregiver.

Looking for a new caregiver for a loved one can be a daunting task for many families. After all, you want to ensure that your loved one receives the best care possible, which is why many families decide to care for their loved one themselves. But for those who are unable to care for a loved one, finding the right caregiver can be difficult, which is why we’ve outlined the top five qualities to look for in a caregiver.

Your First Steps

Before you hire a caregiver, sit down with your loved one so they know why hiring a caregiver is necessary. Make sure your loved one is comfortable with the idea, and remind them that a caregiver will allow them to safely age in place. Once your loved one is comfortable with this plan, schedule a meeting with your whole family so you can all agree upon the qualifications and qualities you would like to see in your loved one’s caregiver. When interviewing potential caregivers, it may be best for your loved one to be present to make sure both you and your loved one will get along with the new caregiver.

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5 Essential Qualities

Below are the top 5 qualities to look for in a caregiver according to AgingCare.com:

  1. Experience. This quality should be on the top of your list when looking for a caregiver. Since your loved one’s wellbeing is directly affected by the quality of care provided by his/her caregiver, know that it is completely acceptable for you to request a background check and references. It’s also important to note that this quality depends on your loved one’s needs. For example, if your loved one is suffering from a form of dementia, you should look for a caregiver who has experience caregiving for a dementia patient.
  2. Training. To protect seniors, each state has its own guidelines concerning the necessary amount of training required of each caregiver. References and a background check should show that the caregiver has in fact completed the necessary amount of training.
  3. Compassion. Trust is an essential component in any caregiving relationship, which is why compassion is a key quality to look for. If possible, try to find a caregiver that shares some of the same interests as your loved one, such as sports or music, so they can enjoy time together.
  4. Patience. Especially if your loved one suffers from a form of dementia, patience is another quality that should be on your list. Caregiving can be a very stressful responsibility at times, so make sure that your loved one’s caregiver has plenty of patience and a positive attitude – it can go a long way when the toll of caregiving seems to be too much.
  5. Communication. Similar to patience, communication is also key. A caregiver should be able to communicate well to both you and your loved one. Along with keeping your loved one comfortable in their home, a caregiver should always communicate to you any changes in your loved one’s behavior or care routine, so make sure your loved one’s caregiver has good communication skills.

These are only five of the qualities to look for in a caregiver, and there could be many more – just remember to make sure that both you and your loved one approve of the caregiver together.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Medical Guardian is a leading provider of innovative medical alert systems that empower people to live a life without limits.

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