When the time comes that you need care you want to be sure that you get the high quality care that you deserve. But what looks good on paper may not work for you. Don’t forget, it’s a human relationship you’re trying to form with your carer and it’s important that it’s a good fit.
But what makes a good carer? There are many different attributes a good carer should possess and it can be useful to identify these when you are looking for your own. From having the necessary qualifications and experience to meet your needs, to being a caring and supportive individual, carers must be well-rounded and dynamic individuals.
In this post, we will be identifying five qualities needed to be a good carer, so that you can make sure you find the best carer to meet your needs. We’ve also spoken to some of the carers on our platform to find out why these skills are so important in home care services work.
1. They’re passionate about their job
If someone is passionate about their job, they’re much more likely to do it well – and this goes double 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 a carer is driven in their work. You should be able 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 doctor’s appointments, empowering a client 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 their client to enjoy their elderly life and seeing improvements in their wellbeing and lifestyle.
Ena Linton, a carer on the platform since September 2015, demonstrates this passion in her outlook on the job. She had this to say:
“I don’t think I could do anything else because I would find everything else boring. One day is never the same. You know, you can go to work and do the same mundane thing every day but with care, it’s so much more rewarding.”
2. You and your carer get along well
You want a carer who will be patient, empathetic, and passionate for the job, but also one who has a personality that will complement your own. Shared interests are also important when trying to find the best match. Remember, your carer may be working with you or your loved-one for long periods of time so it’s essential that you get on well.
For some people, they live alone and their carer may be the only person who comes in that they get to speak to during the day - one of the many reasons why elderly day care is so important for quality of life. Therefore, it’s important for your carer to show a genuine interest in you. This can be shown through simple things, like them asking about your day or finding out about your 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.
Victoria Khamfula was Carer of the Month for November 2016, and she spoke to us about how important the relationship between a carer and client is.
“Besides being their carer, it’s about building a friendship with your client… If you build that relationship they will find it easier to be open with you and you will understand them better. You can look at it just as a job but I see it as you are going in to help someone who is facing a challenge and you can help them overcome it in some way.”
3. They respect your decisions, wants, and needs
Every client is unique and your carer must understand the importance of providing personalised care and empowering you to be as independent as possible whilst respecting your 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 decisions, wants, and needs by enabling you to remain safe and calm in your own home, encouraging engagement with daily activities, and creating social interactions.
2016’s SuperCarer of the year, Eva Hassan, embodies this approach in her work. She described it as this:
“My work involves promoting my clients’ independence and welfare. I ensure that my client’s voice is heard. I encourage my client to be involved in the community and live life of his own choosing. I help him in many ways and encourage independence at every stage.”
4. They have the necessary experience and qualifications
You want a carer who knows what they are doing and who has experience working with your specific needs. To assess this, you should check their employment history and other work experience to make sure they can meet your or your loved one’s needs. This can reassure you that they are able to provide the high quality care you or 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.
5. You can trust them
Trust is the foundation of any relationship between a carer and client. Remember, your carer will likely be working with you when you are at your 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 being under their care.
Where can I find the right care?
SuperCarers can help connect you with a trusted, experienced and fully vetted carer in your area. We believe that - in most circumstances - the best placed people to coordinate high quality, personalised care are the families and care professionals themselves.
Unlike an agency, which gets involved in every detail of care delivery, we focus on identifying excellent carers, making personalised matches, and building the tools you need to make ongoing care coordination simple.