What makes a good carer?

Whether you’re a carer who is keen to make sure you are at the top of your game, or you need to step up and take on caring responsibilities for a friend or family member, you may be keen to find out exactly what makes a good carer. 

Research carried out by Carers UK found that 1.8 adults in the country are carers – that’s approximately 6.5 million people. So with so many people caring for someone, whether in a professional or personal setting, what exactly makes a good carer? Here are some of the top characteristics that make a good carer. 

What is a carer? 

A carer can refer to both a paid and an unpaid individual who supports someone else in a care role. A carer (also sometimes referred to as a caregiver) is part of a person’s social network to help with their daily living activities. There are many different types of carers, from parents caring for their children to grown children caring for their older parents. 

Different Types of Carers 

There are many different types of people who have care roles in an array of settings. Some of these include: 

  • Professional carers 
  • Unpaid carers 
  • Disability support worker
  • Home care worker
  • Personal care worker 
  • Aged care worker 

What Makes a Good Carer? 


One of the most important qualities that makes a good carer is reliability. Not only are good carers dedicated to arriving every day they are needed, but they also make sure that they are always on time. For someone who relies on a carer for even the simplest of day-to-day activities, such as getting dressed or making a meal,  it is essential that they can rely on a carer to keep to their routine by being on time every day. 

They Know When to Take a Break 

It isn’t easy being a carer. From long shifts that go into the evening and start early the next morning, carers can soon start to feel drained and exhausted. Therefore, a carer must know when it is time for them to take a break. Carers often feel guilty about taking time out, but in reality, without a much-needed rest, you can’t be fully dedicated to your role. So by knowing when to take a break to replenish your energy, you can ensure that you are fully equipped with everything you need. 


For anyone working within a healthcare setting, you must have patience by the bucketload. Every day as a carer things can become stressful, but you need to be able to stay calm and give the person you’re caring for the time they need to try and do things for themselves. 

While it may be quicker to answer or do something on their behalf, you must encourage their independence as much as possible. A good carer understands their need to be patient and priorities the achievements rather than the time it takes.  

They’re Empathetic and Respectful 

While for most jobs there are skills that you can be taught and learn. However, empathy isn’t one of those skills. Either you have it or you don’t, and to be a good carer you definitely need it. Empathy means that you have the ability to identify and understand the feelings of someone else, and can show itself in many ways. From crying when watching a sad film or seeing something on the news, it is your ability to put yourself in their shoes and be a good carer. 

From having empathy and compassion for individuals to being reliable and punctual, there are a plethora of skills and attributes carers need to fulfil their duties. Possessing these characteristics will help you provide the best level of care possible. 

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