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Friday, 26 August 2016

What care skills do you need to work in home care?

10 qualities of a good carer

What care skills do you need to work in home care?

Not everyone is cut out and has the care skills needed for a career in domiciliary/home care. A good carer requires special qualities – some of which can’t be learned or earned but are naturally part of an individual’s personality. In this blog post we explore the ten most important qualities of a good carer.

So how many do you possess – and what should you look out for when sourcing private home care?

1 – How to become a carer: Patience

If you are looking at how to become a carer, patience is of course key when dealing with patients and service users with diminished capabilities. Sometimes they may be slower at moving about or explaining what they need. They may also be difficult or frustrated, prone to taking that out on their carer. Remaining calm and patient no matter how stressful the task at hand may be is truly a skill and is incredibly important, as anger or irritability can affect a carer’s ability to do their job and can of course upset patients.

2 – Care skills: A cheery demeanour

A smile is sometimes more powerful than a thousand words. A carer might be the only person an individual comes into contact with during their day, so if they are pleasant, friendly and personable this could make a real difference and demonstrated core care skills. A cheerful demeanour also puts patients at ease and helps them to feel comfortable – and this is especially important if a carer is dealing with personal care requirements.

3 – Qualities of a carer: The ability to multi-task

When you are looking at how to become a carer, one of the key things you need to consider is your ability to multi-task.  Often carers are expected to work alone or as part of small teams, which can lead to them frequently being overstretched with lots to do. Good carers step up to the challenge and can effectively deal with more than one task at once whilst ensuring that the level of care they provide remains high.

4 – Qualities of a good carer: Being able to think quickly

The very nature of care means that things can change quickly – especially when patients have severe care needs. Therefore, one of the qualities of a good carer, is their ability to think on their feet and deal with unexpected occurrences and difficult situations can be invaluable therefore being flexible – and can even save lives.

5 – Qualities of a good carer: Punctuality  

This is especially crucial when working in a home care capacity – because often those receiving care look forward to or plan their day around care provision. If a carer is late it can be disruptive or disappointing and may even impact on the level and amount of care that person receives if their time is restricted.

6 – Qualities of a carer: Willingness to learn

Good carers are never satisfied with their level of training or ability. They always want to learn more, progress further, be better at what they do and provide the best care possible.

7 – Qualities of a carer for the elderly: Being a good listener

Naturally people receiving care often have stories to tell or feel they need someone to talk to – especially elderly patients.  Therefore, having good, and patient, listening skills is one of the many qualities of a carer for the elderly.  Great carers take time to listen and research the era of their clients – enabling them to listen both to the feedback they receive and any issues patients share with them, but also in a personal capacity.

8 – Qualities of a carer for the elderly: Kindness and empathy

A little kindness goes such a long way, especially when you are looking at qualities of a carer for the elderly – and it is often greatly appreciated by patients. When a carer is able to put themselves into the shoes of their patient they can truly appreciate what a difference they can make.

9 – Qualities of a carer: Willingness to go the extra mile

Good carers will often stay past their clocking off time if it means a patient is properly attended to. They’ll go out of their way to find the snacks a patient loves, sit for longer than they should as they talk about their family, or signpost them to other services when they indicate that they are struggling or need more support. It’s these little touches that make a really good carer – and could make a huge difference to patients, especially where you are looking at qualities of a carer for the elderly.

10 – Qualities of a carer: Being able to take responsibility

Ultimately carers often have great responsibility placed upon their shoulders. The best carers take this in their stride and never underestimate the importance of the work they do. They also fully accept any mistakes they make and understand that nobody is perfect – learning something from errors and mishaps rather than blaming their rota or their patient. Remember being the carer for/of a patient is paramount to being a best friend to the patient. You may be the last person they see in this world!!

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