How to Choose a Caregiver

What should your caregiver possess?


Choosing the right person to care for a beloved is quite a critical decision to make. When you love someone, it is normal to want the best for that person whether a parent, a daughter or a spouse perhaps.

As a nurse, I too am an advocate of my clients. Being such, I'd like to choose those who will care for them on the basis of their traits and knowledge of some basic nursing skills.

As far as traits are concerned, the caregiver should first possess empathy. She should be able to put themselves in their client's shoes but they should be strong enough not to show too much emotion either so the client can draw strength from them. They should be able to make the client feel that they are there when the client needs them.

Next, the caregiver should be one who possesses qualities of a professional - dedicated and prompt. Like I earlier stated, the preferred candidate should be there when the service is needed, at the right time and place. The caregiver should not be too concerned about the pay (although it is of course essential) instead should be more concerned about the quality of service he or she provides. She should not leave anything or anyone unsupervised as much as possible. A proper endorsement should be given to other members of the team (e.g. caregiver of another shift, or a nurse, etc.) so that nothing will be left to chance.

The third trait, the caregiver should possess compassion. She should understand that there are certain traits that the client might possess because of their condition. For example, a person with hypertension or cardiac condition will be irritable. Or, that a person with alzheimer's will be very forgetful. Caregivers are expected to be sweet but exercise firmness on what is good for the client. Clients should not be scared of those who provide care because those who are not scared cooperate better. When there is cooperation, the client's condition gets better.

As for skills, the caregiver should know the following:

1. CPR - this is a life-saving skill.

2. Basic First Aid

3. Nasogastric Feeding

4. vital signs monitoring

5. body mechanics

6. sponge bathing

When the caregiver possesses these and other skills and traits, you have the perfect person.

If you don't know where to get one, you can call my mom, Lucy GArcia, at 818 4009751 or 818 5158899. She runs a caregivers' agency in L.A. and the San Fernando VAlley, California.

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