When appointing new care staff, there are many characteristics and skills of an individual which will be at the top of a care providers list. However, one key trait which can often be overlooked is kindness.
To celebrate the recent World Kindness Day (Saturday 13 November), Theresa McNally, creative practice manager at specialist dementia care provider Vida Healthcare, shared her top reasons for why kindness should be at the top of every care provider’s list.
- Putting residents first: Kindness gives carers the tools they need to empathise with residents, put them first, and make sure they’re seeing the individual as a person, rather than just someone living with dementia. This can also give them greater insight and understanding into what it’s like to live in the shoes of residents and how best to work with them and care for them.
- Working with colleagues: Caring can be a particularly stressful job, and this has been exacerbated further by the pandemic. Kind employees can boost the morale of a team, and bring colleagues together, even when times are tough. The more employees you have in your team who are particularly kind, the more likely every team member is to have better mental health and feel less stressed, due to feeling supported by each other.
- Flexibility: Kind carers are more likely to be able to flex to the needs of the people they care for. They’ll be able to understand why people react in certain ways and to different situations, and flex how they deliver care to meet these needs and changes. This can also include exploring different ways to help people living with dementia express themselves.
- Better connections: Kindness breeds connection. Carers who exhibit kindness will be able to understand the life history of residents and find ways to allow them to connect in meaningful ways. From assuming people living with dementia have capacity to make decisions for themselves, to ensuring the best interest of each resident is captured, better connections mean better care.
If employers and care providers prioritise kindness as a key trait when recruiting staff, this will foster an environment which is beneficial to both residents and staff. From greater connections and communication, to care that is more flexible, everyone will reap the benefits of a kind workforce.