6 Qualities That an Elderly Caregiver Should Have

Are you a suitable carer for the elderly?

Would you like to work as an elderly caregiver but are not sure if you are right for the job? We have compiled a list of the six most important qualities that an elderly caregiver should have. Read on to decide if you are suitable to be an elderly caregiver.

1. Listening

Sometimes, a caregiver just needs to be there to hold the older person’s hand and listen. Often it is the case that what the elderly person needs most is someone to listen as they recount stories from their past. Sometimes, this is far more important than being busy with cleaning or other tasks.

2. Flexibility

Being flexible is an important trait for an elderly caregiver to have. For example, if a caregiver is taking over your shift and they are running late, it may be vital that you have the flexibility to wait until they get there and not run out the door the moment your shift ends. For many elderly people, being left alone or a change in schedules can be a confusing experience. A gap in the timetable could mean, for example, that a person with dementia leaves the oven on or that a diabetic is eating the wrong food.

3. Attention

As elderly people do not visit the doctor daily, it is often up to the caregiver to note any physical or mental changes, such as a change in skin colour, appetite or increased forgetfulness. Even if you do not have medical training, you should be attentive enough to detect changes in the elderly person.

4. Open

As a caregiver, the needs of the elderly person must come first. Sometimes, this can include situations that are not comfortable for everyone. While being an extrovert is not always a necessity for the job, it is important that you can step outside yourself enough to do what needs to be done for the older person.

5. Stability

Are you one of those people for whom everything always seems to go wrong? If so, you are probably not the right person for the job of elderly caregiver. The carer should, under no circumstances, bring their personal problems to the job. A carer who spends too much time talking about their personal problems is more likely to add to the emotional instability of the elderly person.

6. Shared interests

Are you a Formula 1 fan or a movie buff? If possible, it is great if the elderly person and their caregiver have some shared interests. Of course, this is not a must. However, it can make the initial bonding process easier when the elderly person and their carer have some common interests.  

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