The nanny profession is becoming very attractive for people looking to get in there, but not without the necessary skills and personality to perform these jobs if you are looking to become a senior caregiver, several qualities, skills, and personalities you need to make you a good fit for the job.
Caring for the elderly is often a difficult task; most times more difficult than caring for kids. Old age has many challenges, like dementia, poor health, weak bladder, and other issues.
If you think you have what it takes to become a senior caregiver, check out the qualities below and see whether or not you are a good fit.
- Empathy and Compassion
Compassion is a compulsory quality for a person who wants to be a senior caregiver because there will be a lot to handle. You might have to deal with sick seniors, those with mental issues, and other day-to-day struggles.
You’ll need to empathize with them to handle them better, even in times when they might lash at you due to mood swings or other emotions. Without empathy and compassion, you cannot be a senior caregiver.
You’ll need twice as much patience catering to seniors than kids because they can prove difficult sometimes.
As some seniors age, they become less cooperative, and you’ll need to approach them calmly and patiently without giving in to annoyance or frustration. Even under less-than-pleasant circumstances, you’re expected to be patient with the senior, talk to them and coerce them gently to do what they need to do.
Beyond patience, you need a high level of professionalism when handling the elderly, even in difficult situations. You should know how to be friendly with a senior while maintaining a professional distance and respectfulness. It is often easy for an in-house caregiver to get too comfortable and begin to overstep boundaries, but you shouldn’t.
- Observant nature
If you’re going to be a companion to a senior, you should be very observant so that you can monitor their health, needs, and any changes in their disposition.
If you are caring for a senior who has health issues, you must be observant enough to catch further symptoms, deterioration, and other conditions that need a doctor’s help.
You’ll also need to keep your eyes open for other signs of psychological issues such as a change in mood, aggression, forgetfulness, insomnia, loss of appetite, and the like. If you don’t have eyes for details or you’re not very perceptive, this might not be the job for you.
- Great Communication Skills
The way you communicate with friends your age or children would differ from how you’ll have to communicate with the elderly, so you’ll need good communication skills to converse with senior citizens.
You’ll need to speak in a friendly and clear way but not patronizing like you would when talking to a kid. You need the necessary skills to put the senior patient at ease and pass every essential information.
- Physical Strength
When caring for seniors, you’ll be in a position to do some stressful chores that’ll need you to use strength and stamina. Sometimes you’ll need to move furniture around, and some other times you might have to push a wheelchair, carry the senior from one point to another or go shopping for groceries. These activities can drain you if you don’t have the necessary strength and stamina.
- Passion and dedication
Caregiving is one job that needs utmost passion to carry out successfully. You cannot be a senior caregiver without a passion for the job, even if the pay is good. It can get stressful when you’re caring for seniors, and sometimes, only a genuine passion can keep you on the job.
With a genuine passion for providing care to seniors, you can overcome the challenges you’ll face and care for your patient properly, even when things get hard.
Your passion or its absence will show in your attitude towards the job and your client, especially when things get tough. Once you notice that you don’t have a passion to be a caregiver for seniors, you are better off looking for another job.
Do you think you have what it takes to become a senior caregiver? We hope that the tips above have helped you decide whether or not it is the right career path for you.
AyiConnect is a platform to connect families with helpers who have a language specialty in addition to care. You can engage with them directly through self service or concierge service. Our concierge service can help busy families who don’t have time to search or need language assistance. Schedule a free consultation here for our concierge service, or download our app.