February 28, 2023

What Makes a Good Professional Caregiver?

February celebrates professional home health and hospice workers with National Caregivers Day. Each year, on the third Friday in February, we recognize the individuals who selflessly devote time, energy, and compassion to ensure our loved ones are comfortable, safe, and happy.

At some point, most of us will need someone to help care for us. So, what are the qualities of a good professional caregiver? The following attributes are often cited as essential for excellent home health and hospice professionals.

Patience tops the list. As we grow older and need help, accomplishing tasks can take a lot longer. Sometimes memory may lapse or personalities may change. Frustration can occur when things don’t go as planned. Staying in the moment respects the individual. The professional caregiver stays calm, adjusting to changes with grace and tolerance.

Empathy is a strong second. Compassion and understanding help build the bonds of trust and camaraderie. Strong relationships between a person and their caregiver may translate into higher compliance with treatment plans and safer circumstances. Research has even shown a positive impact from emotional closeness, similar to some drug treatments. Professional caregivers are connected to those they serve, practicing sympathy and sensitivity.

Reliability remains a cornerstone for good caregiving. Punctuality is key; days are organized around scheduled care and activities. Individuals and co-workers depend on caregivers for consistency and constancy to ensure good outcomes for everyone. The professional caregiver recognizes others rely on them not solely for interaction but also for their quality of life.

Open-mindedness is particularly useful. Whether discovering details about a person’s past or collaborating with team members for success, being receptive to new ideas and perspectives ensures the best possible care. Openness reinforces flexibility, learning, and problem-solving. Professional caregivers remain curious but not judgmental as they tend to others needs and support their coworkers. 

Good health makes professional caregiving possible. Taking care of others means more physical activity daily, from running errands and doing laundry to bathing and helping people move. Strength and stamina are required. In addition to physical fitness, there can be a strain on mental health. The professional caregiver manages their time to insure their own physical and mental health.

Enthusiasm is critical for any excellent professional caregiver. Caregiving can be a draining job – physically, emotionally, mentally. Passion for the profession can help prevent burnout, encourage engagement, boost productivity, and bring self-satisfaction. Professional caregivers find joy in the services they provide and genuinely care about the job and the people.

To provide exceptional senior care, we need exceptional caregivers… every day, in every way, for everyone. If you want to be involved with a career that’s exceptional, we’d love to talk to you! Click here for our careers page.

Sources: VNS Health; AMAC Foundation; John Hopkins Medicine; VeryWell Mind.

Categories: General, Resources