March 20th, 2019 | BY: Allegra Chaney

Caregiver Characteristics: What Makes You Stand Out As A Caregiver?

Dear Allegra:

I recently accepted my first job as a professional caregiver. I’ll be working with homebound seniors, primarily those with mobility challenges. The agency I will be employed by is highly regarded in our local community.

It’s important to me to do a good job for my patients and to exceed the agency’s expectations. I want to convey how much I truly enjoy working with older adults and their families.

Since you have such a good reputation for mentoring caregivers, I thought you might have some pointers on what characteristics make a caregiver stand out.

Thank you in advance for your help!

Best regards,

Lynn

What Makes You Stand Out As A Caregiver?

Dear Lynn:

Congratulations on starting your new career! It sounds as if you have found your calling and are ready to make a meaningful contribution to older adults’ lives.

From my experience working with professional caregivers, clients, and families, the characteristics of a good caregiver include:

  • Demonstrating empathy and compassion for the senior
  • Supporting the patient’s family members, who may be struggling to cope with their loved one’s decline
  • Committing to professional growth and continuing education, including attending all trainings at your agency
  • Being reliable, including arriving for work on time and fulfilling all duties in a timely manner
  • Respecting your patients’ privacy and dignity
  • Exhibiting a positive demeanor and kind tone of voice
  • Being considerate and kind when working with the patient
  • Being mindful of the fact that you are working in a senior’s, or their family’s, private home
  • Using good communication skills with both the patient and the family
  • Having a well-kept personal appearance, including following your agency’s dress code
  • Seeking solutions to caregiving issues when you don’t have an answer
  • Acting as a personal supporter and cheerleader for your patient and their family during difficult days

An additional suggestion I would offer as you start your new job is to pay attention to your new colleagues. Do any stand out from the rest? What characteristics and caregiving qualities make you notice them? That can give you more idea about what makes a good caregiver and possibly a role model to follow.

My final tip is to bookmark this site and stop back often. We frequently answer questions from families and your fellow caregivers. Our resources will help you gain insight into what is important to patients and families, as well as professional caregivers.

I wish you the best of luck with your new job! Please let me know if you have any questions as you move forward.

Kind regards,

Allegra