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The Ezra Home Care Blog

We Asked Our Clients: What Makes a A Great Caregiver?

Jun 23, 2014 |
Posted by Jane Zhdanova |

 

Who would be better experts in caregiving than our clients?  Those who receive constant care often work with several caregivers and interact with them often.  Over time, our long-term clients become the real experts in caregiving.  They’re able to recognize great, or special, caregivers.  We asked some of these clients to share the qualities they value most.  

Caregivers who can manage everything

A caregiver that is a “Jack-of-all-trades” is highly valuable and appreciated by clients and their families.  These caregivers can handle anything!  What if a pipe bursts, the power goes out, or the car breaks down?  What if your loved one needs a new recliner?  You want to be sure that a caregiver can make the necessary phone calls or arrangements to fix the problem with, or without, your help. 

It’s not easy to find a person who is reliable, responsible, and can be trusted to use their discretion to make the right decision.  This is increasingly important if you cannot be there for your loved one.  Our long-term client Karen considers caregiver Betty Arnold, who has been taking care of her mother, a “lifesaver.”  She says, “I trust her completely.  I can go away because I know Betty can handle everything!” 

Caregivers who try to improve the client’s conditions

People who suffer from dementia often forget how to perform their routine, everyday tasks.  They even may have difficulty recognizing family members and friends.  Even though it is not possible to stop the disease’ progression, things can be done to slow it down.  Caregivers are often helpful in slowing down the advancement of this disease.  We ask our caregivers to encourage clients to perform mind-stimulating activities such as reading, playing board games, and posting reminders for important tasks in visible areas.  One of our caregivers created a scrapbook with pictures of the client’s family to help the client recognize her family members. 

Sometimes dementia patients refuse to take part in these types of activities because they require a lot of energy and effort.  In these cases our caregivers urge the client to continue with the exercises in a gentle yet encouraging way.  These caregivers should never be pushy or anger the client!  It is important that he/she is gentle, yet firm, in their encouragement and insistence with continuing the exercise. Honestly, it is like rocket science! 

Caregiver who can support the client in the end of life

End of life care is one of the most difficult jobs.  This type of caregivers should be able to emotionally support the clients, hold their hand and find the right words in moments of difficulty. At the same time, these caregivers need to control their own emotions to ensure they do not increase the anxiety of the client or their loved ones.  Even with the specialized hospice care trainings that exist, not everyone is able to do this job.  End of life caregivers must be very strong emotionally and also have the ability to empathize.  Our Ezra Home Care caregivers are well known among hospice employees due to their professionalism, compassion, and hard work.

If you use caregiving services, what caregiver’s qualities are important to you? We would be happy to hear from you and learn from your experience.

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TAGS: Elder Care Ezra News

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Jane Zhdanova

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