Manual for Caregivers of the Elderly Dependent Person
When choosing a caregiver, we must take into account other aspects apart from training, such as the person’s vocation. The professional’s vocation is very important since we are talking about a job in which the human factor, empathy, kindness and understanding are very important. We must take into account that the welfare and happiness of the people being cared for depends on this person, so we must take into account the adaptive capacity of the person to all kinds of situations that may be unpredictable and require to be solved with diligence and sensitivity.
Strengths of a caregiver
It is essential that the person who wishes to become a caregiver has these 3 qualities: empathy, strength and a vocation for service. However, we must not forget that throughout professional experience and continuous training, these skills can be worked on for further growth and development.
The ability to put oneself in the other person’s place is indispensable in a caregiver. The importance of empathy in the social and health care sector is clear when it comes to establishing a quality relationship between the professional and the user.
Thanks to empathy we are able to understand the other person by understanding the situation and perceiving it from his or her point of view, not our own. Thus, we are able to understand their needs, motivations or feelings even if the person is not able to verbalize or transmit them correctly.
A caregiver with empathy will have a greater communicative capacity, will offer solutions to daily problems in accordance with the opinion and feelings of the user, will make the dependent person feel more comfortable, understood and trust him/her more, improving his/her self-esteem and autonomy.
Qualities of an elder
Quality 1. Patience: A good caregiver must be patient at all times and understand that each person needs a different time to perform activities or to react to stimuli. This patience must be very worked because the circumstances of each person are different, being able to find cases in which it is really complicated to maintain it.
Quality 3. Professionalism: If you are a professional caregiver, you must constantly make use of the knowledge acquired throughout the training and thus demonstrate your worth as a professional. However, professionalism should not be confused with experience, since by this we do not mean that a person who has only been a caregiver for a short time cannot be a great professional. While it is true that this quality comes largely with experience, other skills such as training, seriousness and treatment can make a person a good professional.
Quality 4. Listening: Hearing is not the same as listening. Everyone knows how to hear by the mere fact of having ears, but not everyone knows how to listen. When we talk about listening, we are referring to active listening in which we pay attention to what the other person is saying and make an effort to understand what he/she is transmitting to us. For example, everyone can hear a baby cry, but only a mother will hear what the baby needs just by crying.
Finding the right caregiver is a difficult decision for both the person being cared for and their loved ones. They are looking for someone who is efficient, empathetic, professional in their work and approachable.
Burnout or caregiver burnout syndrome occurs when the trained professional takes the fulfillment of his or her tasks to extremes that put at risk his or her integrity and that of the dependent patient.
Upon reaching a certain age, the elderly begin to have changes in their personality and ways of behaving, due to the limitations to which they are subjected because of their age or certain degenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease.
In this way, the relationship between the professional, the relatives and the elderly person is strengthened, establishing a calm working dynamic. This is important to avoid the feeling of abandonment of the elderly or isolation of the disabled patient.
Another of the main qualities of a caregiver for the elderly is constancy when it comes to carrying out an endless number of difficult and strenuous activities, in which positive results are always sought.