What makes a good carer?

If you or your loved ones have decided that you could benefit from home care, you might be wondering about the qualities you should be looking for in a carer. A carer is often responsible for the well-being and safety of fragile or vulnerable, older adults, so it is not a decision that should not be taken lightly.

So what are the qualities of a good carer? While many of the skills required to care for older adults can be learned through comprehensive training, the best carers have a number of innate qualities that simply can not be taught.

In this short guide, we will provide guidance on the qualities we feel that all good carers should possess to help you make an informed decision.

10 qualities of an outstanding carer

At The Good Care Group, we have extensive experience hiring carers across the UK and Scotland. We pride ourselves on a rigorous recruitment process where only 2% of applicants are successful. We look for naturally empathetic and compassionate individuals and provide them with the industry-leading training they need to become outstanding carers.

As a result, our dedicated carers are able to provide professional, one-to-one, live-in care that allows individuals to live independently at home while receiving the support they need.

The following is a list of qualities that we look for when hiring our carers:

  1. Empathy

The best carers genuinely care about the well-being of the people they look after. At The Good Care Group, we look for passionate people committed to positively impacting the lives of those they care for. We know that carers with empathy go beyond routine tasks; they connect with our clients on a deeper level by recognising each individual’s unique wishes and needs. Thanks to the empathy and dedication of our care teams, we can provide the high-quality care we are known for.

  1. Positive attitude

In addition to empathy, a positive attitude is a fundamental trait we value in our carers. We look for individuals who approach their responsibilities with enthusiasm and a commitment to making a positive impact on the lives of those entrusted to their care. A positive attitude not only enhances the overall care experience for our clients but also contributes to creating a supportive and uplifting atmosphere for both the carer and the client.

  1. Respectful

A good carer respects your needs, desires, and wants. Every individual is different, and a good carer will work with you to personalise and tailor the care they provide to support your own unique care needs.

A skilled carer also knows how to communicate with older adults respectfully and is never patronising towards them. This does not mean that a carer can’t have a friendly rapport with the people they care for, but they should always remain respectful and professional in their communication.

  1. Reliable

Good carers are always reliable and timely as they know someone depends on them for the care they need. Carers are often responsible for important duties such as ensuring their clients are hydrated, maintaining their nutrition and personal hygiene, and taking their medication on schedule. The best carers take this responsibility seriously.

Failing to perform these duties can have devastating consequences and may result in a loss of trust between a carer and the person they look after. When choosing a carer, look for someone who arrives on time, meets all their commitments, and communicates effectively with you if they are late or unavailable due to unforeseen circumstances.

  1. Compassionate

Compassion and empathy are two of the most essential qualities a carer should have. If a person lacks these traits, they may not care if they are doing a good job or if the needs of the person they look after are being met. Caregiving is difficult work, and if a carer sees their role as “just a job”, they may struggle to thrive as a professional carer.

Carers support people from all walks of life, and while they may not always be able to identify with what you’re going through, they should be able to connect with you and understand your emotions.

  1. Patient

Patience is an important quality for carers, as care work requires moving at the client’s own pace. Although it may be quicker to complete a task by themselves, a good carer encourages the people they care for to live as independently as possible and do things for themselves when they are willing and able to.

The challenges of ageing, or complex medical conditions like dementia, can sometimes lead to a person feeling irritable, confused, or distressed. Carers must be understanding and patient in these situations to support their clients as they work through these challenges.

  1. Cheerful

Although having a bubbly or lively personality is not necessary for care work, it can help people feel at ease and help older adults through moments of low moods or depression. A good carer knows that maintaining a positive attitude plays a fundamental role in promoting good mental and even physical health.

  1. Observant

In care work, being observant can save lives. Since carers spend so much time with the people they care for, they are often the first to notice signs of illness or changes in a person’s health. An older adult’s health can change suddenly, and recognising these changes early is crucial for early intervention.

  1. Experienced

When hiring a carer for yourself or a loved one, choosing someone with ample experience is important. Be sure to check the employment history and contact their references before hiring them. This ensures they have the necessary expertise to provide your loved one with the quality care they deserve.

This is especially true if the person requiring care has a complex medical condition like Parkinson’s or dementia. Ideally, you will want to find a carer with experience caring for others with the same condition.

  1. Qualified

Although qualifications are far less important than other qualities, such as compassion and patience, they still reflect that the carer is dedicated and has a willingness to learn.

There are many different courses and qualifications that a carer may have gained, but it’s important to note there is no objective standard in the care industry. As long as the person’s references, work experience, and CRB/DBS check out, they should have the qualifications needed to provide quality care.

At The Good Care Group, we have extensive experience in hiring live-in carers across the UK and Scotland. We pride ourselves on a rigorous recruitment process where only 2% of applicants are successful. We look for naturally empathetic and compassionate individuals and then provide them with the industry-leading training they need to become outstanding carers.

As a result, our dedicated carers are able to provide professional, one-to-one live-in care that allows individuals to live independently at home while receiving the support they need.

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