Caring For a Senior

Hiring a Personal Support Worker—A Checklist


Personal Support Workers (PSWs) have a tough job that requires the right personality and mindset to ensure the best possible client care. Being a PSW can be an enriching and challenging career, but as any great PSW will tell you, you can’t succeed without the natural desire to help people. If your loved one needs extra support to live more comfortably, safely and independently, it may be time to bring in a professional caregiver. To find a PSW that can provide the best possible care for your loved one, here are five key traits to look for:


Any great PSW should have the drive to help and care for others and the willingness to put their clients first. These qualities help them form a connection with clients and families so they can provide skilled, compassionate care.

Flexibility and Adaptability

Every individual requires a different level of support, and every day on the job can present new challenges. PSWs have to be flexible and adaptable so they can overcome each new obstacle. A professional caregiver must be able to work together with the client, using discretion, confidence and tenderness.


A good PSW must be patient, empathetic and calm, even in frustrating or stressful situations. It’s important to remember that clients can be experiencing both physical and emotional trauma, so being understanding and supportive is a big piece of the job.

Trust and Honesty

Taking care of someone can involve some very sensitive and delicate tasks that can be quite scary, unnerving or embarrassing for the client. So when it comes to trust and honesty, this can’t be underestimated enough. These are arguably two of the most crucial personality traits of a successful PSW.


Every client deserves to be treated with dignity and respect. Visiting patients in their home, taking good care of them and supporting them during a difficult time, requires a high level of integrity and professionalism. A professional and courteous PSW will also help clients maintain their independence and dignity.

Personal support comes with a responsibility that should never be taken lightly. At VHA Home HealthCare, we have a team of caring, reliable and skilled health care professionals—including PSWs, nurses, physiotherapists and occupational therapists—to provide the level of care that you or your family members need. Reach out to us today to learn more about our services and how we can help you.

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