Over 3.6 million workers in the U.S. are currently employed as home health aides or personal care aides – a number projected to rise dramatically over the next decade. If you are passionate about making a difference in the lives of others, in-home caregiving might be the perfect calling for you. But before you decide, you may be wondering what it takes to serve in the role of a professional in-home caregiver. Here’s how to know for sure whether it’s the right career path for you.
What Is an In-Home Caregiver?
An in-home caregiver is someone who provides daily living assistance to the elderly, or those with disabilities or special needs, in the client’s private residence. Much like informal caregivers, professional caregivers may be asked to serve various roles in the home, including daily personal care, companionship, housekeeping, meal preparation, and even medical assistance.
What Traits Do Good Caregivers Have?
Home care providers typically look for these qualities when interviewing caregiver candidates:
For starters, taking pride in the caregiving profession itself is essential. In addition to having a neat, clean appearance, a caregiver is expected to be punctual, act respectfully, and use language that’s neither offensive nor inappropriate.
Setting healthy boundaries is another key aspect of professionalism. This means not allowing a client to get too emotionally attached or view you as a family member. Although there is nothing wrong with bonding with a client, it is not professional to accept money or gifts from them. A good caregiver should ask their supervisor what is appropriate or not to avoid violating state regulations.
A responsible caregiver is a mindful, conscientious person who truly cares about their clients. An exceptional caregiver not only handles specific client tasks but also steps up and responds to additional client needs without having to be told to do so.
Responsibility also means a commitment to following company requirements, such as being on time, being a team player, and cheerfully attending employee training. Accepting responsibility for one’s actions and not blaming others when mistakes are made is another essential trait of a responsible caregiver.
A trustworthy caregiver never takes advantage of vulnerable clients. How good a caregiver is means nothing if they lack integrity. As a client, hiring a caregiver from a reputable provider ensures that your caregiver will be honest and truthful because they’ve already undergone a criminal background check.
Taking care of a client’s most personal needs day after day can be frustrating. Memory loss and confusion resulting from dementia can make your job that much more challenging. A good caregiver can manage their emotions and practice patience even on days when nothing else seems to be going right.
An optimistic caregiver always views the glass as being half full while exuding an underlying emotion of positivity. Optimism is notably important in a client/caregiver dynamic where the client is more dependent upon the caregiver to maintain an independent lifestyle.
There will be times when a caregiver needs to change course and respond to a different set of client needs when least expected. Although every caregiver brings a unique set of skills to the table, top-notch caregivers can quickly adapt to change depending on the situation.
A good caregiver must possess a flexible mindset and listen to client feedback so they can respond accordingly and complete the required tasks. Flexibility also means adjusting to different client personality types.
For instance, an older client who’s the quiet type could be paired with a more outgoing caregiver. Much like a chameleon, an exceptional caregiver can adapt to a client’s personality without missing a beat.
Do You Have What It Takes?
If an exciting, challenging, and fulfilling career in the rapidly growing home care industry interests you, Senior1Care would like to speak with you. Due to our expanding client load, we are seeking qualified candidates to fill several open caregiving positions in Fort Wayne, IN.
We offer competitive pay, flexible hours, great benefits, performance bonuses, and the opportunity to work in a positive environment while surrounded by fellow caring professionals. Whether you’re a CNA, nurse, therapist, or another type of healthcare professional, we’d love to hear from you. What are you waiting for? To learn more about how to pursue an exciting career opportunity with Senior1Care today, please visit us at www.senior1care.com.