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.
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.
The following is a list of qualities that we look for when hiring our carers:
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 good carer also knows how to respectfully communicate with older adults 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 all their communication.
Good carers are dedicated to being reliable and on time as they know someone is depending 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, and 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 that arrives on time, meets all their commitments, and communicates effectively with you if they happen to be late or unavailable due to unforeseen circumstances.
Compassion and empathy are two of the most important qualities a carer should have. If a person lacks compassion, they may not care if they are doing a good job or if the needs of the person they look after are being met. Care is difficult work and if a carer sees their role as “just a job”, they may struggle to thrive as a professional carer.
Carers are required to care for 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.
Patience is an important quality for carers to have 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 to 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. A carer must be understanding and patient in these situations so that they can support their clients as they work through these challenges.
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.
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 ones to notice the signs of illness or changes in a person’s health. The health of an older adult can change suddenly and recognizing these changes early is crucial for early intervention.
When hiring a carer for yourself or a loved one, it’s important to choose someone with ample experience. Be sure to check the employment history and possibly contact their references before hiring them. This ensures they have the necessary experience 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 that has had experience in caring for others with the same condition.
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 real standard in the care world. As long as the person’s references, work experience, and CRB/DBS check out, they should have the qualifications needed to provide quality care.
Consider the location
Although location is not a quality, it’s still an important consideration to make. When considering domiciliary care or respite care, you want to ensure that your carer lives within a reasonable distance from your home. If you’re considering a live-in carer, then location becomes less important.
Quality Care from The Good Care Group
If you or your loved one feel that you could benefit from an extra pair of hands at home, consider live-in care. A professional and highly-skilled carer will move into your home and provide you with the care and support you need to continue living as independently as possible.
The Good Care Group is one of the UK’s leading providers of award-winning live-in care. For over 10 years, our highly-personalised live-in care has been helping people continue living happily and safely in the comfort of their own homes while receiving the care they need.
When choosing our carers, we look for individuals that are professional, patient, empathetic, and share a love of helping others. Our rigorous carer selection process includes a revolutionary ‘situational judgement test’ that profiles candidates and ensures we only choose the most dedicated among them. This confirms that all our carers share our professional values before they begin working with us.
We also complete a rigorous background check on all potential candidates that includes a Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) screening and a full-employment check. We then train each carer well beyond the industry standard to provide our clients with top-quality, highly personalised care.
Our approach to care recruitment makes the process of choosing a live-in carer for you or your loved one as simple as possible. Our team of live-in care experts and clinical specialists will work with you to create a no-obligation assessment of your needs that takes into consideration not only the care and support you need, but your lifestyle choices, routines, and preferences as well.