There will come a time where you or a loved one will no longer be able to manage daily activities alone - either through illness, injury or simply aging. One can either burden family members with the responsibility, or struggle to continue to live independently.
Fortunately, there is a third option: Personal Support Workers.
What is a Personal Support Worker (PSW)?
A Personal Support Worker is a professional care specialist who provides personal care and assistance to loved ones who are either physically or mentally unable to manage daily living tasks on their own. They are trained and certified for this duty, and are able to handle a number of different situations and needs.
How is a PSW different from a home care nurse?
Home care nursing providers are a special type of nurse that provide home service similar to a PSW, but with a focus on more complicated or acute medical needs. This includes administering treatments, maintaining health, on-site diagnosis, and care planning.
Why would I need a PSW?
Although many families prefer to provide home care to their loved ones themselves, this is usually very difficult and a great source of stress for all involved. In addition, most families don’t have the training and experience to respond properly to the situations they are likely to encounter. This risk becomes even greater when medical issues are involved.
A personal support worker or home care nurse ensures that the safety, comfort and health of your loved one is always taken care of, thus giving the rest of the family more time to address their other responsibilities.
Personal support workers are always with their clients and are attuned to their needs, so the PSW is usually the first to detect and respond to any changes in a client’s behavior or well-being. They are also often the first to alert medical services in the event complications occur.
What kind of home care can a PSW provide?
Personal support workers assist your loved one in what are called “activities of daily living” (ADL) and “instrumental activities of daily living” (IADL).
Examples of ADL include:
- Personal hygiene / grooming
- Toilet hygiene
- Dressing / undressing
- Functional mobility
Examples of IADL include:
- Home cleaning and maintenance
- Meal preparation
- Running errands
- Taking prescribed medications
Personal support workers will consult with your family to ensure that your loved one gets quality care at all times.
What kind of care can a home nurse provide?
Home nurses can provide a variety of medical and nursing services for your loved one, including:
- Treatment assessment and evaluation
- Intravenous care
- Mental health
- Chronic disease management
- Emergency medical intervention
- Patient advocacy
- Education of family members
Your home nurse will be fully trained to deal with any unforeseen medical situations. The home nurse will take steps to educate your family on what procedures, treatments, and considerations that your loved one requires.
How do I choose a PSW or home care nurse that’s right for me?
Your PSW or home care nurse will be spending lots of time with your family, so you need to make sure that they are a good fit.
Some things you should watch out for in a suitable PSW or nurse are:
- Effective communication skills
- Able to operate independently
- Knowledgeable about your loved one’s specific condition
- Critical thinking
Call GTA Senior Care Solutions to learn more about Personal Support Workers and how they can help to maintain quality of life.