When talking about the work that caregivers do, much of the focus is usually placed on the duties that they will need to perform. What is not always discussed is the character traits that all good caregivers seem to possess. Looking after someone is not just about how you perform the duties required, but how you communicate with that person on a daily basis. Let’s not forget that this may be the first time that these people will be using the services of a caregiver, and there is a better than average chance that they will be feeling angry and frustrated at their perceived loss of total independence. This article was courtesy of Tri-County Home Care in Florida.
Even when a caregiver is doing a good job, they may be made to feel as though they are not. The frustration that the patient feels can often be displayed in angry outburst, many of which will be aimed directly at the caregiver. It’s not enough to have a thick skin and brush off the negative comments and outbursts, as caregivers need to be able to rein in their own frustration and still be able to deal with the patient in a professional manner. The technique that is most commonly used here is something that is referred to as compassionate communication.
There are some who would simply choose to ignore the negative comments being made by the person under care, but doing so may in fact make the situation worse. The same rules apply if the caregiver decides to respond with a negative remark of their own, as this does nothing but make a bad situation even worse. With compassionate communication, or nonviolent communication as it is sometimes referred to, the idea is to engage in the discussion, but in a way that makes the person being cared for feel better about their situation.
Compassionate communication begins with taking the time to actually listen to what is being said. In the case of a caregiver, they may feel that the person they are looking after is just grumpy or has a bad personality when in fact the reality may be that they are lonely or feel frustrated about their current situation. By taking the time to listen to what is being said, it becomes easier to get to the heart of the issue, which makes it easier to talk to them in a way that will put them at ease, and perhaps even make them feel better about having a caregiver look after them.
In order to be able to put compassionate communication to work for you, it’s important to understand that judgement needs to be taken out of the process. You need to be able to look at the emotions which are triggering a specific situation, as this will help you see what the other person feels is being missed or ignored by the people around them. You are then able to speak to them in a way that addresses their emotions and concerns, and all in a way that will allow them to see you in a more positive light.