The senior population, those 65 and older, is projected to reach 71.5 million by 2030. This is more than double from 35.1 million in 2000. This growth has increased the need for caregivers in homes, senior living communities, and even hospitals.

Families and individuals seeking the assistance of a caregiver, either within their own homes or within senior living communities (ie. assisted living) should focus on finding caregivers that maintain the right personality, qualities, and training.

A great caregiving team can restore peace of mind and stability to the life of an aging loved one, as well as supply relief to the family members that would otherwise be responsible for providing the care.

What makes a great caregiver?

Caregivers can be many things. During your search it would behoove you to look for a few of the following characteristics so that you’re able to find a caregiver and/or a caregiving team that best suits your unique needs and preferences:

Empathy: Great caregivers are able to cultivate closer bonds by sharing in the happiness or the sadness of the seniors they care for.

Patient: Caregivers understand that slowing down is a process of aging. A great caregiver allows the elderly to move at their own pace and not make them feel rushed.

Dependable & Honest: Caregivers work with a great deal of independence. A great caregiver must be counted on to be where he or she is required to be on time and prepared as well as to perform required duties in the absence of continuous supervision.

Compassionate: Great caregivers possess a powerful desire to help others, especially seniors. They are inviting and available even if all they do is listen and provide companionship.

Dedication: Our caregivers are one hundred percent dedicated to our residents’ care. They are absolutely worth every minute that we take to provide care for them. We make sure our residents are happy with their care before ending our shift each day.

Knowledgeable: It’s important that a caregiver take the proper time to get to know exactly what their patient needs. Are they on a special diet or medication? Do they need full, physical, hands-on care, or are they able to complete some tasks on their own? We certainly wouldn’t want to take away any independence they still have.

Positive: Everyone knows that a person’s mood is infectious. Our caregiving teams love to greet our residents with a smile on their face and make it apparent that they are happy to help; this can only have a good effect on the people being served.

Flexibility: Flexibility is a critical quality in a caregiver, both with medical staff adjustments and outside responsibilities. It is vital that a caregiver be able to pivot when necessary while still continuing to provide the necessary care.

Of course, many other traits contribute to a great caregiver; however, these characteristics should serve as a starting point if you or a loved one are ever faced with the serious task of choosing a caregiver to be in your home or are considering a transition into an assisted living setting.

Nightingale Healthcare is a privately held, family-owned healthcare management company located in  Bellingham, Washington. Founded in 2014, it has been our mission to serve the communities in which we are located with superior skilled nursing and assisted living services. Our patient-centered approach to care incorporates individualized care plans alongside an unmatched level of compassion, patience, and love.

We proudly operate assisted and independent living communities throughout Washington and Oregon. If you are interested in learning more about our communities and services or in becoming a caregiver with us, please visit our website or contact Nightingale Healthcare directly at 360-656-6609.