It’s no secret; caregivers need specific skills to enrich the lives of their loved one or client. As a caregiver, their health and wellbeing are paramount. To do that, you’ll need to have a certain skill set. These skills include everything from practical communication skills to time management.
But, what skills are needed to be a caregiver?
This article goes over basic caregiving skills anyone thinking of taking on the mantle should have. By building these abilities, you’ll provide more adequate care for your clients or loved one.
The Importance of Basic Caregiving Skills
As a caregiver, your duties involve the personal and intimate care of another person. Your actions, emotions, and gestures have a direct impact on the care of another person. Caregiving is a selfless act, so your skills matter when caring for another person, and their quality of life directly relates to your skills and ability to deliver.
Below, we’ll break down the 12 basic caregiving skills we believe are essential for any caregiver.
12 Skills of a Caregiver
Part of the process of being a caregiver is being in tune with a client’s emotional needs. While physical health and wellbeing matter, mental health is very important for seniors. Compassion embodies the need to deliver care in all aspects of the client’s life and to show kindness and empathy to provide quality emotional support.
Practical communication skills are essential for a caregiver, especially in scenarios where more than one caregiver cares for a client. When working with other caregivers, it will be your responsibility to pass on relevant information regarding care responsibilities, like any changes to their health/vitals.
In addition, certain conditions like Alzheimer’s and Dementia tend to limit a person’s ability to communicate, so learning valuable communication skills is vital for filling in the gaps. Even without the decreased ability, clients may be afraid to share any changes to their health, so communication helps create a good relationship with them. Creating a safe environment for them to share with you should be a priority, so their care doesn’t suffer.
Caregiving is a selfless act and requires you to put someone else’s needs first. If you find yourself caring for someone that has limited communication abilities or a mental health condition, it may be challenging to know what they need, so you need patience to work with them.
As a caregiver, it’s essential to understand the ever-changing needs of your client. Aging can sometimes be a challenging time for seniors, especially in cases of Alzheimer’s and other related conditions. You’ll need to tune into their needs and show kindness so they feel cared for and respected.
Physical Strength & Stamina
In addition to the care-based duties of caregiving, a good caregiver should have a degree of physical strength and stamina to make it through the day’s duties. If your client has impaired mobility, you’ll need the strength to be able to assist them in basic movements, such as walking, getting in and out of bed, and more. In addition, this job usually entails long hours on your feet, so you’ll need to be in good health and have the stamina to remain active for your shift.
Your day-to-day caregiving duties will more than likely follow some sort of schedule, which means you’ll need to learn how to be efficient and wise with your time. This includes prioritizing duties throughout the day; for example, bathing your client is more important than the time-consuming task of doing laundry.
Problem Solving Skills
Problems regularly arise during your caregiving duties, so it’s important to be flexible and have an affinity for problem-solving. Since the health and wellness of your client can change in an instant, your ability to react effectively and calmly is vital.
Caregivers need to be constantly observant of the changing needs of their clients. Your client may be afraid to show signs of weakness, injury, or deteriorating health, so you need to recognize the signs so they may get the care they need. With experience, you’ll learn the habits and signs your clients give off so you may give them better care moving forward to address their needs.
In addition to proper time management, organization is an essential skill for any caregiver to have. Even when working with a home care agency, caregivers typically have total control over their days, so you’ll need to stay organized to accomplish all your duties throughout the day. In addition, some clients may require an updated record of the client’s vitals or health, so proper record keeping and organization is important.
As you take on the full-time care of another person, you’ll see your client or loved one begin to rely on you regularly for their everyday needs. As their capabilities wane, activities like movement, cooking, transportation, and much more become your responsibility. Their quality of life is dependent on your ability to be reliable.
As a caregiver, you’ll rarely experience two days that are the same. Inevitably, the needs of your client change, so you’ll need to be able to rise to the circumstances. This includes changing health needs, schedules, and rescheduling events to ensure the best care for your client.
One of the typical tasks of a caregiver is to maintain the cleanliness of their client’s home. More than likely, you’ll need to do some basic housekeeping duties throughout the day to keep their environment clean and healthy. This hygiene is essential for your client or loved one’s health
How JEVS Care at Home Helps Caregivers Build These Skills
Any aspiring caregiver should strive to build these helpful skills, and it’ll make a worthwhile difference in the life of your client or loved one. At JEVS Care at Home, we strive to provide the resources and support caregivers need to provide the best possible care for their clients and loved ones. We ensure our clients are adequately trained and strive for a high standard of care for all their clients. Together, we’ll make sure you have all the tools, skills, and support you need to be an effective caregiver.
To learn more about our services and support network at JEVS Care at Home, contact us today.