It takes a lot of different qualities to be good at anything, including caregiving. A job where you’re putting widgets into a box takes a whole different set of qualities than it does for a caregiver who invests themselves in another human being every day.
Great caregivers have so many outstanding qualities that it’s hard to pick anyone as being the “most important.” But, after much deliberation, we’ve narrowed it down to three:
Let’s look at each of these.
To be a great caregiver, you need to have the desire to learn all you can about performing the duties of a caregiver, the desire to perform those duties to the best of your ability, and the desire to deliver care coupled with compassion.
Any agency you work with should help you learn about your duties and show you how to perform them, whether it be through training classes or shadowing another caregiver. But you have to bring the desire to learn, practice, and perform those duties with excellence.
The strongest desire you need to bring is your desire to be compassionate in your work – to truly care about your client’s well-being and put their needs above yours as you go through your day. Showing compassion to the person you’re caring for is more than just doing something for them; it’s showing them that you care about them while you’re doing it.
The best caregivers are dedicated to their work. They see caregiving as a lot more than just a job or a paycheck; they see it as a calling. Being a professional caregiver isn’t easy work. A caregiver exerts a lot of physical and mental energy every day. They have to constantly be aware of what their client is doing or wants to do, how they’re feeling, and how they can help. This may entail sitting down and reading with a client or bustling around the kitchen as you prepare a meal for them.
To have that energy day in and day out takes dedication. Dedication to the client, dedication to your work, and dedication to representing your agency professionally. It’s that dedication that separates the good from the great.
The Oxford Dictionary defines diligence as “careful or persistent work or effort.” Another way to say it – is “work ethic.”
Being a caregiver requires a strong work ethic. You have to work a full day consistently; not just physically be there, but give of yourself all day.
Part of your day requires exerting yourself physically as you care for a client. For example, you’ll often need to help them in and out of the bathtub or shower, move steadily from a bed to a chair, do light housekeeping around their home, or go grocery shopping with them.
You also have to be diligent to engage mentally and emotionally with your client every day. Older adults need mental stimulation, whether it be reading a book together, watching a game show, or playing a game of checkers or rummy.
Learn More About Being a Professional Caregiver with Help At Home
If you have desire, dedication, and diligence, you have what it takes to be an exceptional caregiver. Help At Home would like to help you learn more about a career as a professional caregiver and get you started if you’re ready. Our elderly population in Chevy Chase continues to grow; there has never been a greater demand for people just like you. Call or visit us online at www.helpathomecare.com today.