Leaving your loved one’s care in the hands of a stranger is frightening. Even if you do background checks, hire from reputable agencies, or find a nursing home with good reviews, you may still be concerned. When you are looking for a caregiver, or evaluating a current one, it’s helpful to know exactly what qualities to look for.
Qualities Related to Temperament:
Some traits of a good caregiver relate to their disposition. Specifically:
- Empathy and Concern. Does your caregiver listen to what your loved one says? More importantly, do they care what their patient wants and needs? A good caregiver feels what the patient feels, but puts that aside to get the job done.
- Patience. Taking care of another person is hard. A good caregiver needs to have an abundance of patience.
- Trustworthy and Dependable. Your loved one needs someone who can be depended on to be there when needed. If you are hiring someone to care for your loved one at home, trustworthiness is important.
- Tough, Yet Flexible. Caregivers must be tough enough to get the job done, but flexible enough to roll with the inevitable changes. Medication and schedule changes should not derail your caregiver.
Qualities Related to Behavior
Some qualities are easier to determine than others:
- Communicates Well. When you interview a potential assistant, are they able to speak clearly and logically? A caregiver must be able to communicate freely and completely with medical care providers, patients, and family members.
- Attentive to Details. A nursing assistant needs to follow directions for care and especially for medications. Someone in a caregiver position who is unable to follow directions may need to be replaced in the best interests of your loved one’s safety.
- Strength. Patients often need help moving about and taking care of their daily activities. Caregivers must be physically strong enough to help the patients. Emotional strength is important when called upon to handle the stresses of caring for an elderly or seriously ill person.
Find an advocate for your loved one.
Finding the best care for your loved one may take time, but it’s certainly time well spent. Once you find a good caregiver, don’t forget to show appreciation.
Do you or a loved one need to speak with someone about planning for long-term care? Schedule an appointment with one of the qualified elder law attorneys at Adams & Miller, P.C. Our phone number 256-251-2137. Or you may choose to use our Contact Form to get started on your path to peace of mind.