Because I have always specialized in providing live-in caregivers, my focus has been as much on personality and character as on their skill set. When it comes to evaluating a caregiver, I look for qualities that can't be learned in a nursing class: compassion, understanding, patience, etc.
While it is important to match the caregiver's skills with the client's needs, it is also vital to make sure they are "compatible". In a previous blog, I gave the example of caregivers who have either a "take charge" or "take orders" personality. A caregiver not only needs to have the right skill set, but how they perform their duties is equally important to insure long-term success of the home care placement.
For the temp/part-time caregiver, skill set is probably more important than their personality. But even then, I would submit that for the client's comfort and peace of mind, compatibility is necessary too.
Caregivers are always providing some type of companionship regardless of how busy they might be with other duties. While cooking, cleaning, driving, and personal care may be required, who is doing it and their attitude (hopefully friendly and upbeat) makes all the difference. A smile goes a long way!
Chris Christel, Author
Chris Christel, a pioneer in geriatric care, founded Christel's Home Care Agency in 1985. Chris has a Master's degree in Counseling Psychology and a wealth of knowledge in the field of home care.
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