5 Essential Qualities of a Great Caregiver: What Agencies Look for When Hiring Caregivers

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11 months ago

According to a recent report from PHI, there are approximately 4.7 million direct caregivers in the U.S., including those employed in the home care industry. While supporting clients and families, in-home caregivers come from diverse backgrounds and work in various settings, including private residences, nursing homes, and assisted living communities.

Much like any other profession, there are specific traits home care agencies look for when screening applicants to ensure a better-informed hiring decision. If you are presently searching for an in-home caregiver job in Fort Wayne, what follows are five qualities that “cream of the crop” caregivers all have in common.

Winning Attitude

Everyone enjoys being around positive people. When a family hires a professional caregiver, they typically do so because they are worried about their loved one’s health. Effective caregivers bring positivity to the client’s home while restoring the peace of mind of their family members.

Conversely, negativity can permanently damage the relationship between the caregiver, the client, and the client’s family. Good caregivers must approach every situation with a positive attitude, even on days when nothing seems to be going right.

Patience

Although patience is a virtue in nearly all professions, caregivers must demonstrate more patience than most. While it’s true that helping others remain independent is highly gratifying, it can test your patience every day – notably while working with seniors who are skeptical about having an “outsider” in their home.

As a caregiver, you must learn to step back, breathe, and refocus while setting aside your frustration to provide your client with the best care possible. For instance, a client may insist on completing a task even though it would be faster with your help. Allowing your client to do it themselves will honor their wishes while helping them retain their dignity and sense of independence.

Interpersonal Skills

Another highly valued caregiver quality is having strong interpersonal skills. For starters, you must be able to communicate effectively with your client. Let’s say your client has dementia or Alzheimer’s. You’ll need to find new and creative ways to communicate with them so all their needs get met.

A successful caregiver must also be able to accurately convey information to supervision, along with the client’s family and fellow care team members. Maintaining open and clear lines of communication allows you to minimize confusion, frustration, and other issues while building trust with your client and their family.

Problem-Solving

Two constants in caregiving are that things don’t always go as planned and that no two clients are alike. As a problem-solver, effective caregivers must be able to think on their feet and adjust their routines accordingly to align with their client’s needs.

This quality also means being flexible and staying calm while adjusting on-the-fly, which minimizes confusion or frustration for you and your client. Problem-solving helps you bring more enjoyment to your client’s lives, for instance, by coming up with creative entertainment ideas to liven up an otherwise boring day.

Empathy

Empathy allows you as a caregiver to connect with clients and family members by truly understanding the challenges that they are dealing with. Being able to better understand the needs and struggles of everyone involved will help you address them more effectively. In the end, establishing a strong relationship with the client and their family will only make it easier to deliver top-notch care.

Job Interview Preparation Tips for Caregivers in Fort Wayne

Now that we’ve investigated which caregiver qualities employers value the most, it’s time to polish your interview skills. Most caregiver interview questions are geared toward getting to know you better, including your work ethic, bedside manner, experience, and passion. Since the interviewer will likely mix technical questions with behavioral ones, be prepared to discuss topics that include your skills, qualifications, and core beliefs.

Being prepared to answer these questions could hold the key to landing that home care dream job you’ve always wanted:

What essential skills should caregivers have?

Before answering this question, stop and consider what makes good caregivers stand out. When ready, be sure to mention skills that help maintain a client’s quality of life, such as:

Problem-solving skills
Practical application of medical knowledge and training
Communication skills
Interpersonal skills

For instance, you could say, “I feel that caregivers should be active listeners who know how to problem solve and apply their training and education, so clients receive the best care possible.”

Which traits do successful caregivers possess?

Although they might seem similar, a person’s skills and traits are not the same. Before answering this question, mentally substitute the word “qualities” for “traits.”  Skills – whether hard or soft – can be learned, developed, or improved until a certain level of competency is achieved. On the other hand, qualities or attributes are underlying personality traits that define your overall character and behavior.

Exceptional caregivers typically possess these traits:

Self-motivated
Positivity
Flexibility
Patience
Trustworthiness
Reliability
Engagement

A winning response to this question could be: “I believe that caregivers should be honest, patient, positive, dedicated people who communicate effectively and adapt quickly to change.”

Can you tell me about your work history?

Because caregiving requires a higher level of trust, your background is crucial. While this question typically refers to work experience, you could also get asked follow-up questions about your past. For instance, a hiring manager could inquire, “Have you ever been convicted of a crime?” or “Would you consent to a background check?”

Since your job may involve driving clients from place to place, an employer may ask about your driving record. They will probably contact your references and maybe even do a credit check. If anything in your history might look suspicious, come to the interview fully prepared to answer this question.

How would you handle difficult clients?

Questions like these can be harder to answer because most candidates want to speak positively about their previous work experiences. However, answering this common question honestly will allow your calm demeanor to shine through while showing the interviewer how well you perform under pressure.

You’ll be less likely to get flustered while answering this question by going into your interview with two or three specific examples to share, along with ways you handled each situation diplomatically so that both the client and your manager were pleased.

If this question comes up, use the opportunity to tell the interviewer about an example from your personal experience that positively changed you into the successful caregiver you are today!

Exciting Home Care Career Opportunities in Fort Wayne

Are ready to make a difference in the lives of others while serving as a professional home health aide? If so, Senior1Care  invites you to join our winning team in Fort Wayne. Due to our expanding client load, we are currently seeking qualified home health aides to fill several exciting caregiving positions. While proudly serving communities in Fort Wayne, South Bend, Indianapolis, and Elkhart, we support clients and their families with services that include personal care, light housekeeping, companionship care, medication reminders, and even recovery care and more.

As a highly valued member of the Senior1Care team, you’ll enjoy a fast-paced, positive work environment where your input is valued and hard work is rewarded. We also offer competitive pay, flexible scheduling, ongoing staff training, and career advancement opportunities galore. No matter your experience level or education, we’d love to hear from you! To learn more about our agency and our open positions, please visit us today at www.Senior1Care.com.

The post 5 Essential Qualities of a Great Caregiver: What Agencies Look for When Hiring Caregivers appeared first on Senior1Care.

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Jordan M
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