If you're thinking of hiring a carer for an elderly parent, it's only natural to be concerned about finding just the right person. Adam Pike from SuperCarers sets out the qualities he sees as essential for finding a perfect fit.
When the time comes that you need to arrange care for an elderly parent or relative, you want to be sure you are getting the high-quality support that they deserve.
But what looks good on paper may not work for them or you. Don't forget, it's a human relationship that is being formed and it's important that it's a good fit.
Below, are five qualities that are essential to be a good carer, so that you can make sure you or your relative can find the best person to meet their needs.
If someone is passionate about their job, they're much more likely to do it well - and doubly so for a carer. Care work can be a demanding job and often requires the carer to think on their feet and it's important that they are driven in their work. It should be easy to tell that your carer is passionate about their job just by talking to them.
From helping their clients with daily personal care, to accompanying them to doctors' appointments, empowering them to live their life as independently and as fully as possible should be rewarding. A passionate carer may find satisfaction through the simple act of bringing a smile to their client's face or through enabling them to enjoy their life and seeing improvements in their wellbeing and lifestyle.
You want a carer who will be patient, empathetic, and passionate for the job, but also one who has a personality that will complement that of your elderly relative. Shared interests are also important when trying to find the best match. Remember, your carer may be working with your loved one for long periods of time so it's essential that they get on well.
For some people who live alone, their carer may be the only person who comes in that they get to speak to during the day. Therefore, it's important that the carer shows a genuine interest in the person they will be looking after. This can be shown through simple things, like them asking about how their day has been or finding out about their life. Even simple things like a warm smile, a friendly chat, or a cup of tea, can transform someone's day and show them that their carer cares.
Every client is unique and the carer you choose must understand the importance of providing personalised care and empowering your relative to be as independent as possible whilst respecting their limitations. One way of empowering independence is through respecting the autonomy of a client. A carer should understand that their client must have the ability to make decisions for themselves, such as when to get up, what to eat, and where to go.
A carer can respect your relative's decisions, wants, and needs by enabling them to remain safe and calm in their own home, encouraging engagement with daily activities, and creating social interactions.
You want a carer who knows what they are doing and who has experience working with your family member's specific needs. To assess this, you should check their employment history and other work experience, and reassure yourself that they are able to provide the high-quality care that your loved one deserves.
All carers, regardless of their training should also exhibit a willingness to learn. They must have the initiative to continue developing themselves professionally and learning the necessary skills that may improve the care that they provide to their client.
Trust is the foundation of any relationship between a carer and client. Remember, your carer will likely be working with your loved one when they are at their most vulnerable, so it's essential that you trust them. To encourage trust a carer must be reliable, punctual, and respectful.
Confidence can also go a long way in building trust. A carer should be confident, but not arrogant, in their work so that you feel comfortable in knowing that they can look after you well. After all, if a carer is confident in their work then you will more likely be comfortable with your relative being under that person's care.