The Do’s and Don’ts of Being a Caregiver

Being a great caregiver requires attention to detail, compassion, and kindness. With the right tools, a successful caregiver can be instrumental to keeping a household going.

· 3 min read
A caregiver and her client in a wheelchair spend time outside.

Being a great caregiver requires attention to detail, compassion, and kindness. With the right tools, a successful caregiver can be instrumental to keeping a household going when someone needs in-home support. 

As a caregiver, how you treat your client can impact their health and happiness. It is essential to make sure you treat your clients and their homes with the utmost respect while you are working for them. We have put together a list of dos and don’ts for caregivers. Take a look below. 


  • Act as a companion for your client. Companionship is not a core tenant of your role but should be included whenever possible. Simply asking your client how they're feeling or to tell you a story can help engage them and make them feel valued. 
  • Listen to them when they are speaking. This is one of the most important things a caregiver can do. When your client is speaking, pay attention to their words, tone of voice, and overall message. 
  • Act as an advocate for their well-being. Sometimes, you might be the person who can save your client from a medical emergency or other issue. Make sure your client’s family and medical care team know about any difficulties or advancements; also, let the family and care team know if your client has any new ailments or complaints. 
  • Pay attention to your client’s surroundings. If something looks or feels out of place, make sure to let the client’s family or care team know as soon as possible. If you are out and about with your clients, ensure the environment is ok for them. Note any signs of overstimulation or discomfort. 
  • Keep a positive attitude. It can be very challenging to work with clients who have challenging needs. A positive mindset can help both you, and your client, re-frame a bad situation into something good. 
  • Finish all tasks on your to-do list. As a caregiver, setting up your client and their home up for success is one of the most important things you can do. Don’t leave any task unfinished and make a new to-do list for the next shift. 
  • Give your client space when needed. Supporting your client is at the core of being a caregiver. However, sometimes support is taking a step back. When your client asks for some alone time or needs space to decompress, it's time for you to take a step back.  


  • Think you are not a nurse. Clients need in-home support, which can include medication reminders. Anything beyond a medication reminder needs to be done by a nurse, doctor, or other medical professional. 
  • Overstep, especially when it comes to their private matters and family matters. Anything that constitutes a larger conversation should be done so with the family and care team.  
  • Go against the family or doctor's wishes, even if you think it will make your client happier to do so. Sometimes, your client might want something that goes against their health directive. It’s important you maintain boundaries to be a good caregiver. 
  • Withhold information from the family or medical professionals. If you see something, say something. Simple as that. 
  • Violate privacy, including but not limited to going through their belongings, eavesdropping or lingering when not necessary. Everyone deserves their right to privacy. 
  • Be late. Punctuality is crucial, especially if your client needs to be somewhere or take certain medications at a specific time. 
  • Forget that you are valued, appreciated and an essential part of your client’s health and happiness.  
  • Forget that caregivers need a break too. can help a family bring on a secondary caregiver to provide their primary caregiver with some time off or a break when needed. 

We hope you will continue to work hard as a caregiver and continue to perfect your craft every day. We are so grateful for compassionate, hard-working and driven people such as yourself that care for people with care needs.

More like this