One of the most popular business books in the past decade is From Good to Great. Though the book is about what makes businesses exceptional, many of its lessons can be applied to individuals who provide caregivers. If you’re thinking about starting a career as a caregiver, there’s little doubt that you don’t want to be just a good caregiver; you want to be a great caregiver. So read on to learn what makes a great professional caregiver.
If You Want to Be Great…
A wise philosopher once said, “If you want to be great – study greatness.” He also said, “Success leaves clues.” Both of these truisms can be applied to what sets great caregivers apart. If you want to join the ranks of the elite caregivers, develop and exemplify these traits.
Caring for elderly adults could “test the patience of Job.”
Often, you have to repeat something you said over and over because your client is having difficulty grasping what you meant. Their challenge can sometimes come from memory issues, which can cause them to ask the same question repeatedly, or it can be a motor skills issue that causes them to have to button their shirt several times before they get it right.
No matter the reason, some days your patience will wear thin. Great caregivers recognize their moods, like feeling impatient and make a conscious effort to overcome them by taking a couple of slow, deep breaths when their frustration is mounting.
Have you noticed that many couples and families sitting at a table in a restaurant and sharing a meal are looking at their phones most of the time? They’re checking social media and email and not engaging with anyone at the table.
Great caregivers are attentive to their clients. They look them in the eyes and actively listen when they’re conversing. They have personal conversations during their time off, not while they’re in someone’s home taking care of them.
It’s a small thing, but people notice when someone they’re with isn’t paying attention to them or what they’re saying. And, it often makes them doubt their value as a person, which is something a great caregiver would never do to a client.
Dependability means doing what you say you’re going to do. For example, when a great caregiver says they’ll be at their client’s home at 8 am, they’re there by 8 am. When they say they’re going to stay until 4 pm, they stay until 4 pm. Great caregivers also perform their duties as promised, even when they don’t feel like it. If Tuesday comes around and it’s light housekeeping day, they jump in and make sure it’s done, even though they aren’t in the mood to do it.
When a family allows a caregiver to spend a considerable amount of time alone with a loved one, they are putting their trust in that person to do the right thing at all times. They’re trusting that the caregiver will be meeting the needs of their loved ones and that they’ll be safe and secure.
Great caregivers also exemplify trustworthiness when they maintain the confidentiality of what their client or family members tell them that is of a personal nature. A long-term caregiver/client relationship often does get personal, and things are said in confidence because of the trust that has been established. Great caregivers never break that trust.
It’s one thing to provide care for someone; it’s another to provide that care with compassion. Compassion is shown in many ways by great caregivers. A warm smile when they arrive at the home, gently waking up their client from napping when it’s time for them to take their medication, or bringing homemade chocolate chip cookies to their client because they know how much the client enjoys them: all small things – all easy to do.
Our senior population in Phoenix, Sun City, and Tucson Arizona is growing every year, and great caregivers are in demand. Contact the Adultcare Assistance Homecare team today if you think you would make a great caregiver and would like to learn more about this rewarding career. No matter your experience level or education, we’d love to hear from you! To learn more about our open positions, please visit us today at www.adultcareassistance.com.