4 Qualities an Awesome Caregiver Must Have

What do we do when we have a loved one whose physical circumstances have changed? This could mean limits in their physical activities, meaning changes in their day to day routines. In this time of their lives, they need more of our time and our care. 

You may also be in a profession that provides care for people who have limitations in their mobility. Whether you’re in this field or providing care for a loved one – we want everything to be easier for them. We want them to be at ease and more comfortable. We want them to worry less so they can focus on other things that bring them joy. 

We want to be there for them but how can we support them best in their situation? What traits should a great caregiver have to be able to give them utmost care?

Patience

Start with patience. They need our help because their situation has changed – that’s a reality. Sometimes they are so used to doing things by themselves and suddenly they need to rely on other people. 

It is indeed a difficult time for them as they adjust. They may lose their cool, frustration may come out, and sometimes they even refuse to be helped. In the process, they may even leave caregivers with more work to do. 

This is also frustrating from a caregiver’s point of view. You just want to aid them, but what if the person in need does not want to be helped? It takes a lot of patience to understand what they are going through. Some of our patients will be stubborn, some of them will refuse to cooperate. 

Think of it this way – it’s nothing personal. It’s not about you. It’s probably their way of coping.  It’s already difficult for them to be in their situation. Don’t meet anger with anger. You just need to extend more of your patience. Give them space and time to adjust. 

Compassion 

It can be pretty frustrating if one is used to doing stuff by themselves and suddenly, they have to depend on others. This is the time they need most our compassion and empathy. How does it feel to be in their situation?

Let’s try to understand how they are feeling right now. We may sometimes get baffled with their moods and reactions –let’s be more sensitivetowhat they are going through. We cannot just force them to “just accept it”. Understand that acceptance don’t come overnight or instantly. 

Reliability

It is important that a caregiver must be reliable as well. The patient or your loved ones count on us on a lot of matters. They rely on the caregivers to accomplish the things that needs to be done. They depend on us to help them. We need to be there when they need us. Not a day late, an hour late, or so – we should be there in a timely manner. 

People feel cared for when they can depend on us. There are some things that they can no longer do alone. When we fail them, who else would take good care of them? 

Having the right attitude

Caring for people in need can deplete your energy – that’s another reality. There will be low moments also that can definitely suck the happiness out of you. However, at the end of the day, ask yourself this question: what have you accomplished?

You have helped someone hurdle a rather difficult day for them. You made a grumpy patient smile. And even if they didn’t smile, you made their day more comfortable. Even with what you think is a seemingly small contribution – you are actually making a difference in someone’s life. 

Being a caregiver isn’t easy but at the end of the day it’s still pretty rewarding. Yet sometimes difficult, there’s nothing like helping others in this life. It tires you out but helping other human beings makes a whole lot of difference in this world. 

About the Contributor: 

Michelle Farrisblogs about health, lifestyle, and fitness. She often contributes to the Onebed blog, producer of the mattress in a box and adjustable bed frames

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