Guest Post: What makes a good carer?

Many people require extra help and support than others, whether due to disadvantages including age, disability or ailment. When looking for a caregiver for yourself or a loved one, you will no doubt be looking for exceptional carers with good experience, skills and references.

However, what else does it take to be a great carer? We have put a list together of some of the qualities and expectations we have of what good care givers need to possess, to hopefully help you as you do your research into finding some assistance.

Love and compassion

It’s imperative that anyone working closely with another human being shows them compassion, especially to those who are vulnerable and require lots of assistance. Love for the job is a key component too as it will be a difficult job that will require a high level of resilience, made all the more natural by a passion and care for the work.

Flexibility and a willingness to learn

Though most care givers with organisations like Extra Care will be extremely competent with most health problems that elderly people face, it’s important that your carer is flexible in their approach to each patient as conditions will differ from person to person. They should show willingness to learn further about different problems and perhaps more importantly, should show an interest in learning more about their patient.

Physical and emotional strength

It’s also important that care givers keep fit and healthy as they will need an amount of physical strength when assisting patients with everyday tasks, as it may involve heavy lifting. Emotional strength is another really vital part as there will be a lot of ups and downs to a job of this nature.

Great energy and attitude

Keeping a positive attitude and an open mind will be a component you will no doubt be looking for when looking for a care provider, especially if the person who requires help has extremely limited mobility and will want to remain dignified, as is their right. A sense of humour and humility will help keep patients upbeat and positive about their experiences which may be sometimes unpleasant ones.

Patience and understanding

Particularly important if you require a carer for someone with mental health issues such as dementia, patience is vital. Dementia and other memory problems can be extremely distressing for all of those involved and can be quite difficult for carers to deal with, so being gentle and patient is essential, as is understanding regarding to the illness as well as the fact that they are a human being with needs and wants just like everybody else.

Empathy

Taking the time to get to know residents and patients is a great quality of a care giver and will help in terms of empathy. Sitting and having regular chats with the person can help understand them better and will help to focus on their needs and wishes even more, as well as helping them realise they are valued and important, too.

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