The 5 most important caregiving skills

Jobs require skills. But what knowledge and skills do caregivers need? How can they improve their caregiving?

Jobs require skills. But what knowledge and skills do caregivers need? How can they improve their caregiving?

Every caregiver should have a basic set of skills. While providing care for someone can be fulfilling, knowing you make a difference in their daily life, even the most altruistic caregivers cannot perform their duties fueled by that motivation alone. Especially when it comes to in-home care, caregivers need to handle situations better than the average worker in public residences.

What are some important skills and knowledge for caregivers? Some of the following points may sound obvious. However, experience teaches us that not everyone is cut out for the caregiving profession; mainly, it’s because they lack even the most obvious of requirements. If you’re thinking about becoming a caregiver, it’s important you’ve developed the following areas of caregiving.

The most important caregiving skill: Practical intelligence

Caregivers must analyse basic problems, come up with solutions, and apply them on their own. 

Your job is to provide support and care for someone. You can’t do that if you’re constantly relying on others for help. More often than not, a superior or coworker won’t be within earshot or a call away.

Especially for private in-home care, someone is solely reliant on you. 

With that kind of responsibility, it’s expected that you come equipped with basic knowledge about the world. For example, following cooking directions or knowing how to change the source channel on a television. You can say that your caregiving abilities are almost entirely based on your practical knowledge!


The most underrated caregiving skill: Taking action

The details of “providing care” can be ambiguous, but with good practical knowledge and common sense, it’s clear: When someone is relying on you for care, you cannot simply declare, “It’s not part of my job.” For example, if a senior soils their bed and they don’t have any clean sheets, part of providing care is to give them a clean bed. 

Take action. Do the laundry and change the bed.


Improve your caregiving by Connecting with Seniors

If any of these caregiving skills feel like “duh,” it’s this one… but it isn’t easy to do nor obvious.

Research shows that accepting care relies on the mutual trust between caregiver and receiver. Furthermore, you may face an uphill battle, as research shows people’s trust is dependent on your resemblance to someone from their past. Simply put, your relationships with those under your care matter, directly affecting your ability to carry out tasks and provide care. 

Typically, this aspect of the job is where we see a difference between caregivers who are in residences or institutions versus private homes. It’s important to use the extended one-on-one time in private homes to build that trusting relationship, and caregivers must be aware of this duty. 

Friendliness is not enough.


Learn and Adapt

People’s needs and their home layouts can be unique, and caregivers must adapt their strategies accordingly.

At Gold Squad, we assess a senior’s home and needs, not only for them and their families, but also to provide guidelines, routines, and methods of conduct for their assigned caregiver.

Gold Squad always performs these assessments before on-site training.

The toughest caregiving skill of them all: Commitment

Caregiving requires commitment. 

Most days will be fulfilling, but others will leave you exhausted. 

However, when a person eventually trusts you to provide care for them in their vulnerable state, trusts your expertise and abilities, regardless of payment involved, it’s only right to ensure you show up for them.



Practical, custom, and humane care is what Gold Squad is all about. Our caregivers are capable and committed to your or your loved one’s care. If you’re in the Greater Montreal area, learn about your options and get a quote by calling 438-700-9107 or booking a consultation with Heather Parnell, founder and owner of Gold Squad.