Guardian Carers Feature on BBC News London

What makes a good carer

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There are some important qualities which all carers should have and you should look for when choosing the right carer for yourself.


You may find your mental capabilities are reducing as you become older and there is a risk that people may start to treat you in a patronising way. First and foremost a good carer must treat you with respect at all times.

What makes a good carer


Simple, everyday tasks may be starting to take you longer than they used to, or you may find yourself repeating questions and conversations multiple times. This can lead to frustration and irritability in the people around you but it is important that your carer is patient and stays calm without getting resentful or flustered.


Living with dementia can be confusing and even frightening as you may begin to struggle with tasks and everyday situations which used to be easy. A good carer will be able to understand the emotions you may be feeling in a challenging situation and help you deal with them.


You may not always be able to report accurately on your symptoms or progression so it's important that your carer is able to pick up and notice small changes. Signs such as decreased appetite, weight change or increased irritability can indicate deterioration and a good carer will realise how important they might be.


As you age and your condition progresses, you may need to start relying on your carer for important functions including eating, drinking and taking medication. You may need your carer to make appointments for you and ensure that you attend them. All of these functions are crucial so it is very important that your carer can be relied upon to make sure they are done properly and on time.

What makes a good carer


Your care may involve assisting you with personal care including use of the bathroom. It's important that your carer is not prudish about these activities and is able to carry them out in a professional manner which does not leave you feeling uncomfortable or embarrassed.


You may be spending a lot of time with your carer so it is important that they are the kind of person that you want to spend time with. For some people, this may be someone with a sunny and cheerful disposition who is chatty and easy to talk to. For others, this may be someone who is calm and quiet. It is very unlikely you will want to spend too much time with someone with a negative or morose disposition.


Good carers will have the qualities described above, but it is also important that they feel confident in dealing with the situations which may arise as part of your care. If you are living with dementia, it is particularly important that your carer has experience working with other dementia patients so they know what to look for and how best to manage your care.

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