Guardian Carers Feature on BBC News London

Qualities needed to be a carer

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If you need care and support to help you at home, you will need some idea as to the qualities to look for in a carer. They should be compassionate and patient as it is important that you are not rushed when being helped with tasks such as washing or getting dressed. A carer who will encourage you to do what you can for yourself is more helpful than someone who prefers to do it for you.

A carer should also be sensitive to your needs and be prepared to listen if you need to talk about experiences or problems. This can build trust between you and make the relationship very much more comfortable.

It is important that your carer always recognises your individuality and treats you with respect. They will also need to be flexible and prepared to carry out tasks in your preferred way rather than assuming that they always know best. If you opt for 24 hour care at home, your carer will need to be willing to carry out a range of tasks around the house in addition to physical care.

Qualities needed to be a carer

They may need to help with the care of pets, cooking or even escorting you to appointments or social events so flexibility is very important.

Naturally a carer should be professional at all times and be responsible so that you know you can rely on them to act in your best interests. Being confident and professional will give you more confidence in them and help you to feel more comfortable being cared for by them.

They will also need good communication skills in order to understand your needs and wishes and to carry these out. It may also be necessary for a carer to support you in communication with other health professionals. If you are living with dementia you may need additional support with communication and a carer can help you to keep in touch with family and friends in a variety of ways. This can include phone calls and social media as well as through writing and face to face meetings.

Your carer should have all the experience and qualifications necessary to meet your specific needs. A reputable agency such as Guardian Carers will check their work experience and employment history so that you are sure they will be able to provide the care and support you need. They should also be willing to learn new skills if necessary.

Apart from all the qualities needed to be a carer, it is vitally important that you get on well together and that you know you can trust them. This is extremely important because you may be very vulnerable at times when they are looking after you. Trust can be built up between a carer and the care recipient. In fact, when you have a live in carer, they can often become more like another family member than a professional carer.

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