For some people caregiving is a choice while for others it unknowingly comes along as a family responsibility. On the one hand, professional caregivers are imparted coaching but what about a regular housewife who is completely new to this?
The role of a family caregiver goes much beyond just taking care of their loved one’s physical needs. It extends to many more things such as emotional well-being, providing encouragement and fostering a trustworthy bond.
In order to perform these caregiving duties in an efficient manner, good family caregivers must possess the following qualities-
Patience & Flexibility
When dealing with seniors, you need to be extremely patient as their pace of doing things would differ from yours. Owing to this, there might be delays and changes in your original plans. You need to be flexible enough to adjust to it as and when it takes place. Having a calm state of mind really helps in these situations.
Compassion & Empathy
Your loved one might be suffering from physical as well as mental pain owing to conditions such as surgery, memory loss, etc. It is very important to empathise with your loved one and help them alleviate their losses. You need to have an understanding of what they are going through and sooth them by being there. Compassion and empathy are not skills which you can learn but something that comes from within and you adapt to it.
Time Management Skills
You must have heard the saying “Time and tide wait for none”. A caregiver’s life is a busy one where they have to juggle between their duties and personal life. If you fail to understand how to manage your time, you will find yourself in a heap of pending tasks. This is why prioritize everything and plan ahead. Try and multi-task whenever possible, jot down and organize your work to save time. And yes, do not forget to take some time out for your breaks.
Good communication skills are essential for any corporate job but they are even more crucial when it comes to caregiving. Caregivers have to communicate with doctors, nurses and family members on behalf of their loved ones who may be too weak to do so. In addition, they might have to learn other modes of communication apart from written and verbal such as sign language and morse code for their loved one. As a caregiver, you have to act as the medium of communication between the outside world and your loved one.
Optimism & Enthusiasm
A caregiver must firmly believe that the glass is always half full and never half empty. Their role is such that it requires them to face difficult situations quite often. They must never lose hope and display good cheer. They should encourage their loved one to also remain optimistic no matter how bad things may seem. Negative energy and pessimistic attitude does not go well in caregiving. Try to be a more light-hearted and cheerful human being.
Physical Strength & Stamina
Caregiving is such a job that it requires you to be on your feet for most of the day. Something as simple as wearing comfortable sport shoes can be of great help. Furthermore, caregivers are required to do a lot of physical work such as doing household shopping, preparing meals, cleaning and much more. Such kind of work all day for 7 days a week will require you to be fit and on your toes all the time.
These caregiver tips will surely help you become a better caregiver in the long run. You will never have to face caregiver stress and burnout. You will be able to do your job in an even more efficient manner if you opt for things such as caregiver support group and caregiver coaching.