If you’re interested in starting a career as a caregiver, you might find yourself wondering if you have what it takes to keep up with a job that can be stressful at times. Here are 10 qualities of a good caregiver for you to decide if this is a great fit for you.
Do You Have What it Takes to be a Good Caregiver?
There are many qualities that go into being a good caregiver. If you’re considering a career in caregiving you might not need to have all 10 of the qualities of a good caregiver listed below, but it helps to be proficient in some of these qualities/categories.
A Good Caregiver is Compassionate:
Being a caregiver means that you’re going to have situations arise where the person you’re caring for is going to need help with a lot of various tasks that might be difficult for someone who is a first time caregiver. Some tasks you might have to help with include toileting, dressing, and other acts of daily living. It takes a lot of compassion and understanding to be able to help with these tasks, but if this is a trait you have, you’ll be well on your way to being a great caregiver.
This probably goes without saying, but you have to be kind whenever you’re in a role that is working with other people. You have to be able to show up as your best-self each day, and have a heart that is ready and willing to serve others.
Caregiving is a job that requires a lot of patience and the ability to slow down. There will be times where you might have to play a certain board game ten times in a row, or listen to the same song over and over again. It might take the person you’re caring for a lot longer to eat or do other tasks. Are you patient enough to sit through those moments with that person?
A Good Caregiver Can Set Boundaries/Be Firm:
It can be hard to set boundaries with people, especially when you’re the caregiver and not necessarily the primary caregiver (parent, relative, the person that they live with, etc…) in a person’s life. When you’re with the person receiving care you might be tempted to let certain things slide that a primary caregiver would not allow. It is important to be able to set firm boundaries when it comes to the health and safety of the person receiving care. You also need to try and be firm about the expectations that have been laid out by the person in charge.
You Can Be Present:
This is a job where all hands need to be on deck. Your phone needs to be put away, and your entire focus needs to be on the person receiving care. When you’re caregiving you should want to be caregiving. You should be fully invested in the person you’re with and making sure that their wants and needs are being met above your own for the time you’re with them.
There are a lot of details that go into caring for a person with a disability. They might have therapy routines, medications, eating schedules, etc… Are you organized to be able to keep up on all of these details?
Luckily if you’re caregiving with Giv.care, everything is managed directly in our app. This means that you can write your notes for your shift, get alerts for medications, and when it’s time to do certain tasks. This helps you to not be overwhelmed with remembering all the things you need to do during your shift because it’s all in the app!
You still need to do your assignments well, and make sure you’re doing things like measuring the correct dosage for medications, helping with the correct exercises, and maintaining their proper daily routines. This is where being able to focus on the details and pay attention really comes in handy.
A Good Sense of Humor:
There are going to be times where things happen that you could just never had expected happening. Whether something gets spilled, knocked over, you get an entire bowl of food spilled on you, etc. Being able to roll with the punches (hopefully not literally), and laugh it off is a quality that will serve you well.
Do you value being on time, being there when someone needs you, and being someone that people can count on? Being a dependable caregiver is probably one of the best qualities someone can have. Turnover rate in caregiving is high, often because people don’t know what to expect when they start caregiving. Being able to be the person that a family can count on who they know will show up to each and every shift is worth its weight in gold.
When you’re caregiving you are spending one-on-one time with someone who is one of the most important and beloved people in someone else’s life. That is a huge responsibility that should not be taken lightly. They’re trusting you to care for that person just as well as they do on a day-to-day basis, and you need to be able to meet those expectations.
Being able to get creative is what will make the day-to-day routines all the more fun. Can you turn their therapy exercises into a game by incorporating a board game, cooking, or an adventure outside into the routine? Can you challenge yourself to do one fun activity during each shift so that the person receiving care, and yourself both have something to be excited about? We have so many great ideas already shared on our blog to get your creative juices flowing:
- 10 Board Games for Adults with Disabilities
- 5 Activities for Developmentally Delayed Adults
- Outdoor Activities for Disabled Adults
- Winter Activities for Disabled Adults