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Being a good care worker requires special qualities and personal traits, many of which can’t be taught. Your personality, manner and willingness are often more important than skills and experience in care work. A home care worker often works alone which means independent thinking is critical, but more than anything our service users just want somebody who is kind and understanding to care for them.

When hiring a live in carer, you and your family will understandably have a set of qualities and skills in mind which you are looking for. This person will live under the same roof as you and provide your care round the clock, so it’s essential you feel comfortable with them. As a starting guide, we’ve put together the characteristics of a good carer, to help you find the most suitable live in carer.

1. Positive and friendly

You will spend an awful lot of time with your carer – you’ll probably have more contact with them than any member of your family. With this in mind, it’s really important to hire someone with a positive attitude and a friendly approach to their tasks. Smiling is infectious, so if they are happy then you’ll be happier and more comfortable too.

2. Compassion and empathy

A good carer is a naturally compassionate person, and wants to help people live their best life. If they have the ability to put themselves in the client’s shoes, then they truly understand how to make a difference.

3. Quick thinking and problem solving

A live in carer will be working alone, and has nobody to supervise them or make sure they are doing all of their jobs to a high standard. A carer has nobody to ask for help – which means they need to be able to think on their feet and solve unexpected problems which will occur on a daily basis. Acting quickly in tough situations can save a life.

4. Responsible and professional

Professionalism is a must for all carers, especially a self-employed live in carer who has no manager. Working directly for the client, the carer needs to remain professional at all times and ensure they are happy with the service being provided. They need to take complete responsibility in the work they do, and address any issues in a timely manner. Caring for somebody 24/7 is a huge responsibility, are they prepared for it?

There is no perfect carer, because every service user has individual needs. To find your ideally suited live in carer, be sure they have the right skills and experience in addition to these key characteristics.