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Scouting Traits Of Great Caregivers

Scouting Traits of Great Caregivers

In 2001 my eyes were open to a new brand of human being.  I had flown to Arizona to interview with a Hospice company. My whole life I have always admired individuals that could put the needs of others in front of themselves.

In Hospice?  I met the real pro’s.  The brave individual caregivers who, regardless of their clients situation, could provide comfort and empathy.  Hospice staff Provide a listening ear, a hand to hold.  Suddenly, I had the opportunity to support Hospice care teams in 45 cities around that wove a blanket of support for those at the end of life.  How could I say no?   The rest is my history.

Upon my journey in Hospice and along my career path with Always There Home Care in Columbus, Ohio I have always worked with amazing people. I have collected resume’s like boys collect baseball cards.  I so admire those who feel such an undeniable pull to help others, I started my own company.

At Always There Home Care, we always look for the best:  Life Changing, Life Enriching, Life-Long caregivers.  The stories of those in the front lines of care have always inspired me.  The ability that caregivers have to drop their own baggage as they enter the homes of those in need are my daily inspiration.

Matthew & Bryan just before unloading 1,000 lbs. of fresh produce into the food pantry yesterday.

My wife and I have four sons.  All of them are in the Boy Scouts of America.  Our eldest, Matthew completed his Eagle Scout last summer.  His Eagle Scout project raising funds to purchase 7ft tall refrigerators for the Heart to Heart Food pantry in Grandview, Ohio.  Additionally, Matthew raised funds to create comfortable and weather proof benches outside of the food pantry and flower barrels to beautify the exterior.  Our desire is for all four of our boys to achieve their Eagle Scouts.  We place such a high value upon enriching the lives of those less fortunate in our community.  Scouts gives our sons great access to service.

Growing up as a scout myself, I have always loved serving others.  I believe scouting not only fosters a desire to serve, but also provides barometer for making challenging decisions and shaping the lives of others.

Last week, our article explored who can receive care.

As for searching for qualified home care staff?  Here are traits that provide a lens for us to search for the best candidates in our recruiting efforts.

The Scouting & Caregiver Principles:

A Caregiver is…


A caregiver in our organization will pass state, federal and local background checks.  They will also provide references, and their previous employers will be contacted.  Even if those were private families they worked for.  This is a critical first step to ensure that a caregiver can be Trust-Worthy.  When we can Trust the caregiver in a private home setting with elderly, only then will they be selected as worthy to work for Always There Home Care.


Caregivers at their core are loyal to their clients.  They defend them.  They

them.  They are in the trenches with life threatening diseases, sometimes at their own personal health risk.

The relationship that they build with individuals who are suffering is the bridge built to their loyalty.

At Always There Home Care, we work to foster an excellent relationship between our clients and our caregivers because the loyalty that results inspires us.


At the core of caregiving, Caring is being helpful.  Our caregivers enter homes each day looking for new things to do, new ways to help.  New ways to care.  Being a helpful person gives you an enormous leg up for a successful caregiving career.


What a bonus it is to be friendly.  A smile disarms suffering.  Squashes sadness.  Brightens days.

A friendly person can accomplish tasks that an unfriendly person cannot.  As the saying goes, you can get a lot more bees with honey than with vinegar.

Being friendly to our clients enables our caregivers to accomplish showers when bathing is reluctant.

Medications to be taken when seniors are not being compliant.  Friendly is not only an admirable trait, it’s a useful one.


As caregivers, we know that we are guests in our clients’ homes.  Treating our client’s home and their personal effects with courtesy is a conscious decision.  Courteous caregivers go the extra mile.

They not only clean up their own messes, they keep their client’s home.  They stock the groceries, advocate for their current and future needs and do so in keeping with their client’s wishes.  Always asking “may I” when offering help.  Courteous care is Excellent care.


What an entry level yet overlooked quality is kindness.  When kindness is lacking, care is lethargic.

Kindness should be at the heart of all tasks.  “I am doing this for you because I care about you” is the best way to deliver care.

Be kind whenever possible.  Kindness is the arch enemy of spite.  Be kind and mountains can be moved.


Our care is built on a simple motto: “Your Home.  Your Rules.  Our Care.”  If we

seek to have success within the relationships we build with our senior clients, we must be obedient to our own motto.

Serving a client is being obedient to the rules of their home.  Respecting their wishes.  Advocacy for a senior must include respecting of wishes while accomplishing care goals.  Achieving difficult tasks that are beneficial to a senior can only happen when it is demonstrated that their needs are important and their wishes will be respected.


As C.C.I.C. (Chief Caregiver In Charge) at Always There Home Care, I have found being cheerful to be essential.

Several years ago, one of our male staff suffered an automobile accident and was away for several weeks.  Filling his shoes was my immediate concern.  One of his clients was a gentlemen who required bathing assistance.  While this gentlemen was accustomed to the same caregiver, in walks me.  Midway thru the shower routine, I realized the perfect acoustics his bathroom had.  I sang and he smiled.  So I sang louder and we both ended up laughing.  Cheerful care trumps awkward care every time.


Caregivers are advocates.  Our staff is prohibited from making purchases greater than $25.  We work to protect our seniors from approach of telemarketing, door to door scammer/salesmen and we alert families when any of these elements are askew.

Most seniors are inherently thrifty, yet overwhelmingly generous.  Enabling seniors to have protection from predatorily charged individuals and companies enables them to live more peacefully.  Planning meals, financial oversight and encouraging economical decisions are other ways caregivers can be thrifty.


Caregivers sure are brave.  When I think of all the times we have been told how difficult someone’s beloved senior is, I think of the bravery it takes to care for them.  To enter someones home as a solution to hundreds of problems.  

This takes great bravery.  We had a client not two weeks ago have a total cognitive breakdown.  She came to the door swinging her cane, looking to hurt someone.  Fortunately, she missed when she swung, but would you believe that same caregiver returned that same day?  Caring for others demands bravery.


Not only is a great caregiver great at cleaning, they must keep themselves clean.

Demonstrating personal cleanliness is a necessary component in building trust and making an impact upon seniors.


Reverence is defined as having a deep respect for someone or something.  Having reverence for seniors for many individuals is what made them caregivers.

This is the draw towards advocating for them professionally.  When you have a reverence for seniors, or for those in need?  You heed the call.  You can transform your love for people into actions.  Actions that change lives.

Ben Smith is the Founder, President and C.C.I.C. (Chief Caregiver In Charge) at Always There Home Care.

Reaching us is easy 24-Hours a Day via our 24-Hour Home Care Hotline: (614) HOME-CARE 614-466-3227.  

Or fill out the contact form on our website to be contacted right away.  We will call you to arrange a free Home Care Assessment in your senior loved one’s home.

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