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Providing care for an elderly family member is more of a calling than an actual career. It is a selfless vocation which demands both training and self-preparation. Daily activities include bathing, feeding and taking medicine to offering companionship and overseeing their emotional and safety needs. Since not everyone is cut out to do such responsibilities, it requires one to give their best so as to be effective. While we can provide intensive training, these innate qualities are also required to become a truly entrusted caregiver.
A good caregiver is empathetic and compassionate, in order to foster a genuine relationship with the patient. To embody a “family member” figure allows them feel secure and nurtured, especially when the patient has been neglected by their own family. Some accept this harsh reality, but deep inside it can be agonizing. Start by asking their interests, sharing stories or engaging in certain activities together, such as watching a particular show or listening to music. By relating to them, they start to open up, and make visits more enjoyable for both parties.
It may sound cliché, but patience is a virtue. This holds true especially in the caregiving career. Your patience will be tested, and if not managed, can result to burnout. That is expected when taking care of the elderly. Such strenuous demands require a certain fortitude that it takes a very special kind of person to choose this line of work as a career. Good caregivers say that planning ahead is key to keeping sanity. Try setting some time aside each week for future planning. By knowing who you care for, from medical conditions to background knowledge, a better understanding of how to care for them will follow
Good Communication Skills
Due to age. the elderly have the tendency to communicate and comprehend poorly, which is why the need for assistance is high. An effective caregiver can explain things to the client in a way that they can understand. This can very from person to person. Adapting to a person’s way of communicating is a great skill to have.
Since ample amounts of time will be spent with them, you will assist in keeping a calm and comfortable environment. If possible, encourage relatives to keep lines of communication open about any changes in their relatives’ care plan or condition. Problem-solving is a vital part of providing care for another person and requires excellent communication skills as well.
While caring for seniors is demanding, being someone that a person can depend on is important. Showing up and being present in this line of work gives the reputation of reliability. Possessing this quality, builds trust between you and loved ones. By doing what you say you will do, you build on a valuable and recognized skill.
The future is uncertain, and at certain times caregivers might have to deal with circumstances that are way beyond their control. It may involve doing something out of the box, or just purely instinctive. The important thing here is discernment. Being perceptive and being able to judge a situation will lead you to execute proper action. After a period of getting to know the patient a good caregiver becomes intuitive to make appropriate reasoning.
Embodying these qualities ensures that being a caregiver is the path for you. Compassion, patience, communication, dependability, and intuition are skills we can strengthen to better enhance our lives and the lives we care for.
To learn more, enroll in our Caregiver in-service units that you can take online!