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Every Great Caregiver Shares These Key Traits


Lifestyle Improvement

Posted On: Jan 26, 2017

Every Great Caregiver Shares These Key Traits

Being a caregiver is one of the hardest yet most rewarding professions there is. It's also one of the most versatile titles, as it applies to so many people. Nurses, nurses' assistants, home health workers, and family members are all possible caregivers. At the end of a loved one's life, many families step in to take care of the ailing relative. All caregivers have—or should have—a few key traits. Sometimes you are born with them, but you can learn them, as well.

A Keen Sense of Compassion

Caregivers care about others, and they care about giving to others—hence the name. This trait leads many women and men to become nurses and other medical professionals. Caregivers have a desire to help those who need it. People who provide care at the end of someone's life are particularly intuitive about giving the patient what she or he needs.

An Even Keener Sense of Empathy

Empathy is another essential trait in the best caregivers. Not only are they capable of sympathy, but they also try to put themselves in their patients' shoes to understand how they feel as well as what they need. This trait is harder to learn, but it is possible. It involves training yourself to consider the perspectives of others.

Patience Is a Must

The psychology of death, dying, and terminal illness is eye-opening. Often, at the end of their journeys, patients become irritable, irrationally angry, and on a hair trigger—through no fault of their own. It takes patience to deal with the demands and volatile emotions of someone who is terminally ill or otherwise approaching the end. To remain calm, caring, and compassionate in the face of such pain is a unique skill.

Responsibility and Reliability

Taking care of anyone requires some degree of responsibility because you are, after all, responsible for someone else. When you are on the clock, the patient comes first, always. You can't miss a minute or get lost in doing something else. Reliability is just as crucial. Many patients take medications that require a prompt delivery. You may need to turn a patient, bathe him or her, or take him or her for walks. Skipping such vital tasks is impossible.

Trustworthiness Is Essential

It goes without saying that everyone involved must trust the person chosen to care for their loved one. You have to put their minds at ease whether you are family or an outside professional. Far too many people take advantage of the ill or dying, who are in vulnerable positions. The patient must feel at ease with you, as well—she or he deserves that level of comfort at the end.

You may find that you can care for your loved one when the time comes. Then again, perhaps an outside caregiver is the better choice. You and your family know what's best.