The Characteristics of Quality Caregivers
Taking on the role of caregiver is one of the most emotionally challenging and demanding positions out there. Being a caregiver is not for everyone, and though some may think they can handle the day-to-day drain of interacting and caring for seniors, often many are not cut out for the weight of the task.
Money cannot be a primary motivator for live-in or hourly caregivers. It’s one of the few occupations in the world that has to come from the heart and a genuine and sincere place in the heart, at that. Caregivers only in it for a paycheque will quickly realize that this is not the occupation for them.
But those with a caring disposition who naturally take to helping others in need will find being a caregiver comes with its own rewards of fulfilment. Though there will inevitably be many hard days, the good caregivers will walk away each day with a sense of purpose.
This trait, more than any other, is an absolute must. Caregivers are dealing with seniors who, for one reason or another, be it physical, mental, or both, cannot manage on their own. This means that things may be forgotten and repeated on more than one occasion throughout the day, or that the caregivers themselves may have to repeat the same instructions or point in a conversation over and over again. It will also mean that caregivers may have to assist in moving the senior from place to place around the home, regardless of if the request happens to be while the caregiver is in the middle of doing laundry, organizing pills, or any other assigned task.
This may seem petty, but it can quickly become aggravating if not approached with the right mindset. And that mindset is that, as a caregiver, you are there to assist in any way legally possible. Not properly exercising patience can lead to seniors losing their sense of independence, which is never a good outcome.
Not the physical kind; this is more mental, and even psychological. Caregivers are potentially witness to durations of time that can be heartbreaking. Instances in which they are caring for a senior with Alzheimer’s, for example, can be difficult to handle if they lack the mental fortitude.
Caregivers offering palliative or end-of-life care also need to summon greater than usual strength. Watching someone pass away can be emotionally devastating, whether you knew that person your entire life or not, but this is a reality many caregivers deal with or will have to in the future. That means they must find a way to endure and keep themselves together for the sake of their own life and to continue to offer quality homecare to other seniors.
Anything Can Happen
The reality is that at any moment throughout the day or night, anything can happen when caring for seniors. In extreme (but not so rare) cases, their health can change dramatically, which means caregivers need to be trained well and remain calm enough to react quickly and in the proper fashion.
Other changes may come in the form of a routine. For instance, doctors may change the prescriptions and the time of day each has to be taken. Caregivers need to adjust immediately or else the consequences could be devastating. Another possibility is that a family member may change his or her schedule, which means the caregiver must be able to adapt to the new routine and times they are caring for the senior.
You probably can’t even imagine all the possibilities surrounding what can happen while caring for seniors, but a good caregiver who is empathetic and displays the qualities mentioned above will be able to manage regardless.
Home Care Assistance – Toronto/York Region is proud to be one of the top home health care providers in the country, and we owe that to the work of our outstanding group of caregivers. We provide them with ample resources for training and education, but they are the ones who show dedication in the field on a daily basis. For more information, visit the Home Care Assistance – Toronto/York Region web site.