Elderly Care Services Chicago: Qualities to Look for in a Caregiver Companion

July 09, 2018

What qualities should you look for in a caregiver companion?

  1. Empathy
  2. Patience
  3. Responsibility
  4. Trustworthiness
  5. Flexibility
  6. Keen observational skills
  7. Effective communication skills

The state of caregiving in the United States of America continues to change as the baby boom generation ages. For the first time in the country’s history, there are more than 50 million seniors and this is a trend that is expected to continue until the year 2029. This aging population has created a growing demand for elderly care services in Chicago, Florida, Pennsylvania and other states in the country.

While it’s easy to avail of caregiver services, they don’t always provide households with great caregivers. There are a lot of things that separate a good caregiver from a great one; the most important distinction, however, is in the qualities that these caregivers possess.

So if you’re currently looking for a caregiver companion and want one that is sure to provide your elderly relatives with the proper care, then make sure that you choose one that has the following qualities:

 

Empathy

Great and effective caregivers are beyond sympathetic; they are also empathetic. They not only feel compassion for their patients, they also have the ability to understand and share what their patient is feeling and going through. A person with this quality will be able to build a stronger relationship with their client and this will naturally bring out other key qualities associated with caring.

Empathy underlines all interactions and ultimately determines how they approach a patient, so it is one of the first qualities you have to look for in a caregiver.

 

Patience

A caregiver that is quick to anger and irritation will do a horrible job in caring for the elderly. People of old age move slowly, have trouble accomplishing daily tasks, and are forgetful. Most of them also have diseases that affect brain function which is why much patience is needed when taking care of an elderly patient.

Moreover, patience in a caregiver increases an elderly person’s sense of independence. If someone takes the time to assist them throughout the day instead of outright doing everything for them, it gives them more confidence in themselves and their ability to function properly.

 

Reliability

Reliability

People who are in need of caretaking services, whether at home or in a facility, need someone who is reliable and dependable on their side. Elderly people need someone who they can count on to be there when they need to be – especially during an emergency.

Of course, this extends beyond simply showing up for work. It also includes being able to do their job of taking care of someone who cannot manage on their own. They should also be able to perform their duties well. Since every situation is unique, caregivers must always be prepared to make important decisions and solve several problems with little outside help.

 

Trustworthiness

Trustworthiness

Hiring a caregiver means opening your home up and leaving it in the hands of a stranger. It places you in an extremely vulnerable position, especially if you plan to leave your relative/s alone with them for a huge part of the day.

So if you’re going to hire someone, make sure that they won’t breach your trust by taking advantage of your relative/s, stealing your valuables, or sharing confidential information.

 

Flexibility

Home care needs aren’t always constant and set in stone; it changes unexpectedly and the best caregivers know how to adapt. Since there is no rigid schedule to be followed, caregivers must be able to go with the flow and provide good home care whenever it is needed.

The best caregivers can make themselves available, particularly during emergencies, and they are willing to drop everything in order to attend to their patient.

 

Keen Observational Skills

Elderly patients won’t always be able to tell their caregivers what they need and want. This is most true for those that have diseases that affect their speech and movement. There are also times when a patient will feel reluctant to voice out what they feel and what they need.

During these moments when communication, either through words or body language, is limited, it is important for a caregiver to employ his/her observation skills. Being able to spot the smallest details can mean a lot – in the most extreme cases, it can even lead to saving lives.

 

Effective Communication Skills

Effective Communication Skills

Poor communication only damages the relationships whether it’s between the patient and the caregiver or caregiver to family members.

Since a caregiver will be spending a significant amount of time with your loved ones, it is important that they are able to communicate well with each other and with you. Great caregivers should immediately and clearly inform you of any changes in your loved one’s condition as well as in the care plan that they have made.

 

Key Takeaway

Great caregivers are those that have the natural urge to help others. They are those who are fueled by the need and want to offer help and care. They want nothing but to better the lives of those that are suffering through diseases or old age.

That said, drive and passion aren’t what makes an excellent caregiver, although it is a very promising start. They must possess different traits that will allow them to properly care for someone in need like empathy, reliability, trustworthiness, patience, and many more. Combine these qualities with their desire to help people and you get an outstanding caregiver.

Surely, you’ll find such people in different elderly care services in Chicago, other states, and all over the world. If you do happen to hire an amazing caregiver or bump into them by happenstance, make sure to thank them for their service of making the lives of your loved ones and other patients better each passing day!

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