Most of us only need to worry about arranging care for someone else once or twice in a lifetime, and yet it can be a stressful time. How do you know that you are choosing the best person for the job? After all, a live in carer is going to be a major part of your loved one’s life for the foreseeable future so, naturally, you want to be sure you’ve got it right.
There are five qualities a good carer should possess:
- Attention to Detail
- A Friendly attitude
Below, we'll look at all these different qualities in a little bit more depth, allowing you to decide whether the carer in front of you is the one you want to stick with, or whether you should start looking for another carer that best meets your needs.Flexibility
Your relative is a unique individual and a live in carer needs to be able to adapt their working practices to the routines and preferences of their client. Attempting to impose their will should be seen as a big red flag.Attention to Detail
It can be the little things that matter, especially to an older person who may already be reluctant to admit that they need assistance. A good carer will work with you and their client to develop a care plan that covers all the little issues as well as the big ones.Experience
Your carer can have read every book on elderly care on the shelf, but there are plenty of situations where experience makes the difference. Look for a carer that has already cared for an older person, ideally backed up with support and recognised training.
If you employ your live in carer through an agency then you will be able to confirm with them what training the carer has completed. Many agencies have comprehensive training programmes to ensure that carers maintain up-to-date skills and competancies.A Compatible Attitude
Your relative is going to be spending a lot of time with their live in carer so it is paramount that they get along together. A smile and a kind word can be effective at building trust and rapport, but some older people may appreciate a degree of formality. Ensure that any prospective carer can meet with your loved one before they start work so you can assess how friendly and caring they are, as well as whether or not they will get along with your relative.References
Always ask for references before employing a live in carer. Not only do you want to be 100% sure that they have the skills and experience they claim they do, you also want to be certain that they aren’t attempting to hide any misdemeanours in a previous role. Don’t be afraid to follow them up – if someone has agreed to give a reference they will be more than happy to speak to you and if they aren’t happy to give a reference you probably want to know why!