The Value of a Caregiver Getting to Know Their Client’s Personality

Published February 1, 2017 in Caregiving  By  Covered Caregiver Information Desk
Senior Care Services

When providing senior care services, as a caregiver, you play one of the most important and complicated roles in your elderly client’s life. It may also mean offering that hug, warm smile, or kind and gentle word when frustration gets to both of you.

Everyone is unique and has different personality traits that defines who they are as a person.  As a caregiver, when you first meet your client they may be quiet or come across as angry or sad.  We must dig deep into the soul of the ones we care for to uncover their real personality traits.  You will be surprised as to what will unravel and it may be quite different from what you had initially thought.

When a caregiver first meets their client, it is important to learn and understand their different personality traits.  The caregiver should understand their likes and dislikes in order to build and strengthen a rapport with their client.  By educating yourself on your client’s different characteristics, such as what makes them happy, sad or angry, you are building a relationship that will make for a more pleasant working environment for both the caregiver and the client.

Avoid Age Reminders

It may be difficult for your client to arrive at the reality of their declining state of health and losing their independence.  This reality of their declining state, could cause reactions of unhappy behavior.  Keeping this in mind, the caregiver should avoid any constant reminders that their client is old, feeble or unable to function independently, as this may bring up feelings of uselessness or shame and your client may project signs of sadness, anger or depression and lack of communication.  It is important for the caregiver to take a step back and put themselves in their client’s position and think of how difficult it would be to lose their independence and dignity, this puts things in a different perspective for the caregiver.  Try focusing any discussion towards more positive reminders, as an example of how great it is that they are able to walk around with a walker or maybe how funny and quick witted they are.

It is essential to reassure your client that the goal is to enable them to continue to do the things they still would like to do. You may want to emphasize that you as a caregiver may be the cane, but they are still traveling the path of their own life.

Precious Memories

Your elderly clients have lived a long life full of history and wonderful memories.  These memories may be tucked away in their minds and they most likely think of them over and over again, but they choose to keep them quiet.  A caregiver should inquire about their client’s past, such as starting to look through old photo albums, asking about their families, inquire about how they met their spouse, what they did for a living, or places they have traveled and what was their favorite place to visit.

By reminiscing back and resurfacing these beautiful and youthful memories for them, you will see their stories will start to flow. Smiles may appear or a simple spark in their eyes as they begin to share their happier and more youthful years and a new individual will begin to transpire.