April 24th, 2019 | BY: Allegra Chaney

Caregiver Skills: What Skills Do You Need To Be A Caregiver?

Dear Allegra:

My daughter, Rachel, is a senior in high school and is starting to look at career options for her future. She has always been interested in working with older adults. In fact, over the last two years she has volunteered at an assisted living community near our home while also working part-time in the community’s dining room.

One career path she is exploring is caregiving. Rachel is looking at jobs such as a nurse aide or an in-home companion. She thinks it would allow her to gain a few years of experience in caregiving and save money before she applies to nursing school.

I’m trying to help her explore career options. While I may be biased, my daughter seems like a great candidate for the caregiving profession. Even though she is young, Rachel is mature for her age. She is also kind and compassionate. I know, however, there is more to making this decision than a caring personality. Caregiver skills and abilities are also important.

What skills do you need to be a caregiver? Anything you can provide would be a big help to my daughter.

Sincerely,

Stephen

Caregiver Skills Checklist

Dear Stephen:

It sounds like you could be right! Your daughter’s volunteer work and employment have likely given her good insight into the caregiving profession. Having an insider’s look at what those who work in aging services professions do each day is invaluable.

To answer your question, what are the skills of a caregiver, here is what comes to mind:

  • Positive outlook on life even in difficult situations
  • Empathy and a sincere interest in others
  • Demonstrated patience in words and actions
  • Ability to remain calm under pressure
  • Good communicator with both patients and families
  • Strong observation skills with an ability to recognize small changes in condition
  • Good time management and organizational skills
  • Willingness to learn protocols and commit to following them
  • Problem solving skills with an ability to identify and address concerns
  • Ability to set priorities and juggle multiple tasks

One thing to keep in mind is that whatever training program your daughter enrolls in will help her develop many of these skills. So, don’t worry if she doesn’t already have all of the caregiver skills listed above.

It might also help you and your daughter if you learn more about caregiver regulations with regard to education and experience. They vary greatly depending on the state in which you reside.

I hope this information is useful to you, Stephen. Please feel free to reach out again if you have more questions about the caregiver profession.

Best of luck to your daughter!

Kind regards,

Allegra