It can be said that caregivers are the foundation of health care for a society. Without them, we would not be able to meet the needs of the elderly, people with disabilities or other people in need of temporary or permanent care. When you hear the word “carer,” you probably have a basic idea of what a caregiver is and does. Your idea may come from personal experience – if you were a carer of an elder relative, or from observations on friends or neighbors who have used such a service.
Simply put, caregivers are people who have the capacity to provide care for someone else. Routine tasks such as housekeeping and monitoring medication intake are just some of the responsibilities a caregiver may have. Depending on the country and the client’s needs, caregivers can also perform more complex medical tasks. Since we mentioned tasks, let’s list just a few activities that a carer most likely has to perform on a daily basis: bathing and dressing assistance (personal hygiene), monitoring the intake of medicines, transport, grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning, health monitoring and related tasks, mental and physical exercises, emotional support, etc. Sounds a lot, doesn’t it? And this is just a small part of the responsibilities of a caregiver.
As you can see, being a caregiver is no easy task, it requires a combination of many skills and knowledge, not only technical, but the so-called “soft skills” as well. Of the many skills a carer must have, the following are certainly at the top of the list:
It is no surprise that good communication skills are extremely important for a carer. It is extremely important to be able to formulate something as simple as a daily schedule or as complex as discussing health problems and observations. Communication is crucial in providing clear and accurate information to all those involved in caring for the elderly person – from relatives to medical professionals.
Problem solving skills
Needless to say, there is rarely a day that goes exactly according to plan. Critical situations can always arise, especially when it comes to elderly care. That is why it is important for the caregiver to be able to quickly adapt to different situations and changes at the last minute.
There are many challenges that come with caring for an elder. Sometimes, when we are not prepared to deal with these challenges, we lose patience. When this happens, it is important to take a step back, rethink the situation and, if necessary, ask another person or relative for help with the elderly care. After all, overloading yourself will not help you or the person you care for.
Physical strength and endurance
Carers often have to perform a variety of physical tasks, from carrying grocery bags to helping people with mobility problems. In addition, caregivers are often on their feet for long periods of time, so their good physical condition is essential for the performance of their duties.
To show compassion means to step into another person’s shoes and want to help and relieve them. Needless to say, kindness, empathy and a good heart are absolutely mandatory qualities for people who want to become carers – both to a relative or as a profession.
Overall, the work of a carer is extremely complex and difficult, but also incredibly noble and rewarding.