An elderly home health aide, be it a professional or a relative, should not only be trained to provide physical care. Caring for an older person goes much further, since it involves a continuous relationship for many hours a day, especially when you talk about people who cannot fend for themselves.
Respecting the rights and dignity of older people is the first step in establishing a satisfactory relationship between both caregiver and elder.
To take care of an older person, it is not only necessary to have certified home health aide training but also have a rich knowledge of human aspect of the profession. Below are 8 essential characteristics to be a good caregiver for the elderly:
- Have a vocation
Vocation is, without a doubt, an essential quality for an elderly home health aide. Professions related to treating others, especially caring for dependent people, require great physical and psychological dedication. For this reason, the vocation of service is so important in caring for an elderly person with all the care required and without depersonalizing the elderly.
- Have empathy
Empathy is probably the main characteristic developed in candidate during home health aide course. It is essential to know how to put yourself in the place of the elderly person you are treating, treating their demands with normality and respect.
- Be helpful
Serving an older person implies that you must be available at all times and ready to serve their requests quickly. These can be physical care, such as grooming or feeding them, or simply listening to them and trying to solve any problem that the elderly person raises. Being helpful means being diligent and generous with a positive attitude.
- Be patient
Many older people can be demanding, forget things, have difficulty moving. Sometimes they feel too controlled. An ideal home health caregiver needs a high degree of patience and being aware that it comes naturally.
- Possess emotional intelligence
Being psychologically stable and knowing how to manage emotions is an intrinsic quality to a good elderly home health nurse. It is necessary to enhance these skills to control impulses, negative feelings, stress, and frustration in order to cope fully with everyday situations that may arise.
- Communication skills
Caring for an older person with the quality he deserves implies having the ability to actively speak and listen. This is important for the elderly to feel appreciated and to help them work on memory, prevent depression, and make them feel involved in their care.
- Good physical condition
Managing an elderly person with a high degree of dependency, lack of mobility or cognitive impairment requires physical strength and certain skills to move him without harming him or yourself.
- Transmit positive energy
Even in the case of working with a person who does not have all their cognitive abilities, with reduced mobility or who has any illness, the caregiver must know how to transmit positive energy to influence the mood of the elderly.
In the last stage of life there should be no lack of joy or illusion. Home health aide certification trains a person to become optimistic to help the patient overcome their emotional ups and downs.
An elderly home health aide must also have professional knowledge and skills to carry out their work. However, personal qualities are essential in a job in which involvement, vocation and service to others is the most important part. Otherwise, the relationship with the elderly will be deteriorated and the mood of both may suffer.