The use of home Caregiver services are on the rise as more people find it an affordable healthcare option. Caregivers provide an important part of the home healthcare continuum of services. Their role is to help patients achieve the level of recovery and independence intended by the physician’s plan of care for the patient. The best caregivers typically go above and beyond their job responsibilities. They look after their patients, attend to their needs, and foster a bond that makes them a part of the patient’s extended support network. Being a caregiver is not just about filling out a checklist and providing medication on time. They need to develop qualities that caregiver training programs do not teach. Some of the best qualities that every caregiver should have are:
Some patients, especially the elderly may not be cooperative. They may be unhappy because of the challenges and discomfort of their treatment. Some patients may think they’re healthy enough and don’t need anyone to help them. This might be challenging for some caregivers. Everything is not going to go as planned. In circumstances like this, the caregiver has to be patient. They need to show empathy and compassion to their patients and gain their trust so that the patient will receive the proper care when needed.
The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If a caregiver is not passionate about their role, and does not love the job he or she is doing, patients may not get the proper care. A good caregiver is passionate about what they do. They genuinely care about the health and wellbeing of patients. A passionate caregiver puts himself or herself into the shoes of the patients, tries to understand what the patients might be experiencing, and takes the necessary measures to make things easier and more comfortable for their patients.
Some patients, especially those with chronic disease, may lose their ability to speak. Some may become so weak that even speaking becomes a burden. Lastly, some may be bad-tempered and don’t want anyone’s support. Handling such patients may require excellent communication skills. After all, communication is the foundation of any healthy relationship, especially when you’re building a relationship with a patient. A caregiver must understand what these bedridden, silent patients are trying to communicate. They must understand what their patients are experiencing, establish effective communication, gain their trust, and treat the patients quickly and properly. Communication does not always have to be verbal, it could be done with signs, signals, or the written work. A caregiver has to remove barriers and find a way to effectively communicate with patients.
Every patient is unique. An approach that works on one patient, may not work on another. It is important for a caregiver to creatively develop ways to keep patients engaged, occupied, and entertained. Patients may refuse the recommended minutes of walking or taking medication on a proper schedule. Therefore, it is necessary for a caregiver to be creative so that the patients become interested, involved, and willing to comply with their plan of care.
Lastly, a caregiver has to be supportive. Patients may become discouraged with their loss of independence. Some may need caregiver support just to take a walk in nature. In that case, every caregiver should be able to identify what patients are experiencing and what kind of support they need so that patients can feel encouraged and be optimistic.
Being a caregiver involves more than just training and experience. Patients do not only need medical care, they need support, trust, empathy, and compassion. Training and experience will not give a caregiver these traits. They have to be developed, recognized as needed, and implemented with the conviction and intent to help the patient stay on the plan of care and recover as much independence as possible.