“Caregiver” is a general term referring to anyone who provides care for a person who needs extra help such as elderly people or those who have physical, cognitive, neurological, or behavioral health issues.
Most home caregivers do not work under the direction of a doctor or nurse and are not typically considered healthcare professionals, though there are some exceptions. For example, a home caregiver may perform physical therapy or other home healthcare services if they are delegated by a supervisor who is a health professional, or if they are registered and licensed under one of the 26 regulated health professions in BC.
All over the world, we have a lot of caregivers and home healthcare services which are available for seniors or people who have health issues. Unfortunately some of them are not professionals and this tends to result in creating a negative impression or outcome for seniors and older people.
In British Columbia’s public health care system, caregivers may have the title of care aide, community health worker, health care assistant or HCA. They are the front-line care providers who work in a variety of institutional and community settings, including home support agencies and residential care facilities.
To be eligible to work as a HCA in any publicly funded health care setting in BC, applicants must complete educational training and be registered with the BC Care Aide & Community Health Worker Registry.
As you may know, the caregivers who want to be professional must have some specific skills, such as the ones listed below:
1- Effective Communication Skills:
Effective communication can help seniors to live longer, better quality lives. It’s good to know that most people believe that effective communication is the cornerstone of care-giving.
So, be careful about using effective communication skills!
Older adults tend to show greater pro-social behavior due to empathy, than do younger adults.
Caregivers should look for opportunities to stimulate a person’s enthusiasm about things they believe in and feel strongly about. Spending time listening, reflecting, and talking about a person’s experiences, interests, values, and feelings, are good way to practice empathy.
Devoting your time to provide care and support for older people is one of the best things in the world.
Understanding the strengths and challenges of the person you are caring for will make it easier to support their goals. It will also improve your relationship with them. This requires patience because caregivers must try to put themselves in the other person’s shoes, which isn’t always easy!
If you are focusing on supporting a person’s happiness, this is an important skill that takes time to develop to be really good at.
When you are happy and optimistic, the quality of care you will provide will be much better. Seniors, like most of us, are in need of human contact. They may be surrounded by like-minded peers, but often still miss bonding with a family member or someone close with them who they can share their feelings. Laughter together can greatly improve cooperation and empathy between a caregiver and senior.
5- Keen Observation Skills:
A responsible home caregiver is required to be skilled at observing whatever circumstance the senior is going through. Caregivers should be able to spot when older people need medical care, or when seniors just want their time alone. Also, successful caregivers can spot when something is going wrong and report their observations to the appropriate person, such as a supervisor or the person’s relatives.
6- Body Language Skills:
Body language is a mixture of verbal and non-verbal communication, which includes the use of one’s body, posture, gestures, and facial expression. As a caregiver you should be familiar with the behaviors of the person you’re supporting, because they may have impairments that make it difficult to communicate, express, or understand their feelings and needs, which may affect their actions.
Lastly, we have to mention that being a good caregiver is not easy, it needs a multi-skilled person, and also someone with experience in the field of home healthcare services.
Advanced Medical is a home healthcare equipment provider serving people in Metro Vancouver, BC Canada. Their experienced team is ready to help people in need of healthcare equipment and services.