Being a caregiver is a challenging but incredibly rewarding task that is a great way to give back and build connections with those in need of help. Some caregivers work at adult care centers, while others work independently or for their loved ones. And then there’s the group of caregivers who didn’t choose to be, but have risen to the challenge to help improve the quality of life for a family member for someone they care about. Whether you are a primary caregiver, considering becoming one, or know you might have to step in at some point in the future to help a loved-one out, there are certain personality and character traits that every caregiver should have. These are the 9 essential qualities that make a good caregiver.
Patience is one of the most important qualities that every caregiver should possess. With being responsible for someone else’s health and safety, working as a caregiver can be stressful and overwhelming. It’s guaranteed your patience will be tested while caring for others, and it’s a quality you can and will have to work on.Those who need care need more time to complete tasks, can become confused, and may need help to express themselves. As a caregiver, having patience will allow your patient to feel safe, comfortable, and in good hands.
One of the best qualities you can have to make patients feel comfortable is empathy. It’s essential to have a sense of empathy and understanding towards those being cared for, as this helps to build trust and connection. When patients feel confused, upset, or afraid — a caregiver who is empathetic will be able to calmly assist, de-escalate the situation and help those in your care succeed.
Patients need to know that they can rely on and depend on their caregivers. When you are there for your patient or loved one consistently, they learn to count on you and feel safe knowing they will be taken care of. This can help ease feelings of anxiety and fear your patients may be feeling.
As a primary caregiver, you are in charge of your patient’s or loved ones health and well-being. A good caregiver will advocate for their loved ones to receive the best care and support possible. Caregivers should be knowledgeable about their patient’s conditions so that they can ask the right questions, speak up for them, and get the care and support they deserve.
The person receiving your care will feel comfortable and secure knowing that you are constantly looking for new ways to help them. As a caregiver, you should be keeping up with your patient’s condition by finding new resources and staying informed about the developments in healthcare. There are many community based resources available to help. Start by contacting your local community’s Area Agency on Aging (Eldercare Redirect) as the first step to finding resources to help with your care giving journey.
Your schedule can change day to day as a caregiver, which is why it’s essential that you’re flexible and able to go with the punches. Being able to think quickly on your feet and adapt to sudden changes is vital in this field. A patient or loved one can unexpectedly become ill or injure themselves, requiring emergency assistance — which you as a caregiver need to be prepared for. The Acensa Health app can help by keeping all of your patient’s or loved ones’ family, doctors, pharmacy and facility support contacts in one place. Being flexible starts with being organised so you can adapt quickly to each situation.
7. Strong communication skills
Strong communication is an essential skill that all caregivers should have in their toolkits. Over time, your patient may experience more difficulty expressing themselves and you’ll need to be able to adjust your style of communication to better suit them. Knowing how to effectively communicate with your patient as well as healthcare providers and doctors is an asset.
As a caregiver, there will be both good and bad days. On bad days, your passion is what will get you through the day with a positive outlook. Being passionate about what you do can help you avoid caregiver burnout while uplifting your patient when they’re in need of support. While it’s completely normal to have bad days yourself and not feel up to being positive, it’s important to stay positive with your patient or loved one to keep them in a healthy headspace.
9. Willingness to accept help
An important trait that is often overlooked by caregivers is the willingness to accept help. As a primary caregiver, you can’t always do everything on your own, and there is nothing wrong with asking for help. When you feel overwhelmed or need a break, it’s a sign of strength to be able to reach out to family, friends, or other professionals for help.
At Acensa Health, we understand the importance of being a good caregiver. That’s why we’ve developed a comprehensive app that can help you manage your caregiving responsibilities more efficiently. With our app, you can track medications, set reminders, and stay up-to-date with your patient’s condition. Download the Acensa Health app today and experience the benefits of being a good caregiver.