A professional caregiver is not just about meeting the job requirements, i.e. knowing the inside outs of how to provide a variety of services and assistance to an aging person.
Sure, training is needed to ensure a professional caregiver is able to perform what’s required of them – prepare meals, aid with ambulation or walking, attend to all safety needs and etc. – but it is more than that, at least, if we are talking about a GREAT professional caregiver.
Important Traits that Make A Professional Caregiver Great
Beyond all the essential responsibilities lie the real substance of a professional caregiver’s role – compassion. If one lacks of this trait, it doesn’t matter how good s/he is in her/his job – the care provided (and felt by clients) will be of, to a certain degree, lacklustre, non-wholesome.
If we are to bring it all down to one specific characteristic that differentiates between a “professional” and a “great professional” caregiver, we believe “compassion” is the key.
You see, this is a job that requires one to go beyond handling the needs of care recipients – s/he has to respond appropriately to certain situations that came up unexpectedly which can be, at times, rather challenging and s/he has to be able to deal with it without feeling (or showing) contempt or disgust.
Quite the opposite, in fact, s/he should demonstrate compassion, care and thoughtfulness in such situation. A person that truly cares about their client will have a passion and desire to improve the quality of life of their client, so s/he will not stop at just carrying out their assigned tasks.
Instead, they are able to readily and selflessly step up and attend to unexpected duties without being told to. And what drives all this, we believe, is a heart of compassion and attentiveness.
2. Commitment and Dedication
A great caregiver should also be committed and dedicated to their job. One that respects their tasks, honour their commitments and carry out all job-related responsibilities in a highly professional manner.
You want a caregiver that puts in 100% of their effort and skills, not one that is offhand and incompetent.
A caregiver that respects his/her own job wouldn’t be bad at their performance, likewise, s/he will be respectful of the situation and hardships the family or client faces on an everyday basis.
A caregiver needs to have the patience to listen to, understand, and answer to their client’s needs. There will be clients who repeat after themselves and then there are clients who are quiet and reserved. In either situation, one needs patience to care for them. A trained professional will not be lacking in this area.
A good caregiver should also have the ability to not panic in difficult situations, and stay composed even when the client gets demanding.
Empathy helps a caregiver to be able to connect better with the client. With our elderly community, there will be times where they feel rather low-spirited. They feel that nobody has time for them and that no one understands how they feel or what they need, hence the dejected behaviour.
So having a caregiver who can empathise with their situation is vital – it helps them connect with a client so that they can understand what the client is feeling. It also helps build trust between caregiver and client and once we have that, you know your loved ones is in good hands.
5. Creativity and Flexibility
You will see why we group these two qualities together – they complement each other in a significant way.
A creative caregiver will think of new activities or ideas that will better the quality of life of their clients, for example, teaching them new ways to carry out tasks or helping them learn a new skill, not just blindly following the book. Such caregiver will focus on improving any situation that is thrown at them, in other words, have the flexibility to adapt to changing situations.
As we know in the care service industry, no two clients are absolutely the same so likewise, there is no one trick/formula for all. A great professional caregiver should be able to mould to a client’s personality, thereby providing the care that their client truly needs.
Do not underestimate the importance of this quality. Having an optimistic caregiver will lift up the whole mood in the household and what does the doctor say? Happy mind, happy life.
Optimism is contagious too! When a carer is optimistic and always gives out positive vibes, the people around can feel it. This in turn will encourage the elderlies to laugh and enjoy more, thereby improving their overall function and wellbeing in the end.
Last but not least, you would want a dependable caregiver. One that does not skip work without reason but instead, show up as scheduled and is on time.
You may already have other commitments programmed and would want to leave the house on time, yet you do not want to leave your elderly loved one alone. So having a dependable caregiver, knowing that s/he will turn up at your doorstep on time, is one distinctive quality that makes an otherwise ordinary professional caregiver, great.
At Absolute Care & Health, we have done all the hard part for you. We select only the best individuals that comprised of these qualities and trained them extensively so that they are equipped with all the professional skills required of a caregiver, to provide the best services and care to your loved ones.
Contact us today if you’d like to find out more.