Being a family caregiver to a loved one is a very rewarding and worthwhile endeavor, but it is not always an easy task. It takes a combination of caregiver skills, including technical skills – the knowledge needed to perform specific tasks, and soft skills – the way you interact with people and solve problems.
Of the many skills a caregiver should ideally have, the following are at the top of our list…whether you are or will become a family caregiver, or if you are considering a career in the dynamic home care industry.
Communication skills are essential. Being able to articulate something as simple as a daily schedule or as complicated as discussing health concerns and observations with the person in your care, family members and healthcare providers is critical. Communication is key to ensuring that everyone involved in the caregiving relationship is provided clear and accurate information.
Physical Strength and Stamina:
Caregivers perform a variety of physical tasks, from carrying groceries to vacuuming to helping individuals with mobility. Caregivers are often on their feet for long periods of time. Having a baseline level of physical strength and stamina is important to maintaining your own health and that of your family member or client.
Problem Solving Skills:
Rarely is there a day in which everything goes exactly according to plan, and it is no different in caregiving situations. When plans change, appointments get cancelled or new routines are required based on needs, it is crucial that a caregiver can pivot and adapt to last-minute changes, as well as take on unexpected challenges. Thinking on your feet as a caregiver is important for the person in your care and for you.
There are a lot of challenges that come with caregiving. Sometimes when we are not prepared to deal with these challenges, we lose patience. When this happens, it’s important for caregivers to take a step back and take care of themselves just as they would the person in their care. Sometimes knowing your limits and not being afraid to ask for help is one of the best ways to ensure you’re not feeling overwhelmed.
Showing compassion means being able to tune in to another person’s distress and having the feelings and desire to alleviate it. Kindness, empathy and a caring heart are absolute “must-have” qualities for caregivers.
It takes a very special person to become a family caregiver, as well as a professional caregiver. But if you have these caregiver skills, then you might be a great fit.
FirstLight Home Care locations across the country are hiring caregivers
At FirstLight, we look for caregivers who help make everyday activities easier for their clients and whose mission is to improve the lives of others. We hire kind, caring, empathetic people with a genuine desire to make the world a better place, and with the following skills:
- A passion for caregiving and a desire to help others
- A commitment to being present and providing quality care
- Empathy, patience, kindness and respect
- An understanding of different clients’ needs
- Communication skills necessary to interact with a variety of clients and their families
- Ability to effectively manage the demands of the job
- A commitment to 100-percent client satisfaction
Previous caregiving experience is preferred. We offer paid training, ongoing education and development, career advancement opportunities and meaningful work that makes a positive difference in the lives of others. Find FirstLight career opportunities near you.
FirstLight Home Care is proud to CHAMPION the family caregiver, offering empathy, advice, and support for those who provide countless hours of care to their loved ones living with Alzheimer’s. We want to provide a helping hand, relieve some of the stress that comes with caregiving and give you back a few hours in your overwhelmingly busy day.