Personal Home Care for Seniors

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Personal Home Care for Seniors

 
There are many reasons why you may want to employ personal home care services. As we grow older, many of us are affected by age-related conditions that hamper our ability to care for ourselves (and our homes) in the way that we once could. Some of us have family who will help, but many of our sons and daughters have children of their own or careers that need their attention. Asking for help from family can make us feel as if we are imposing, and can add stress to our relationships.
 
A personal support worker (or PSW) can help in many ways. Having the assistance of a PSW on a regular or semi-regular basis can help you:
  • Take care of your home. PSWs can do light housekeeping such as laundry, dishes, vacuuming, bed-making, and other tasks that may be difficult for you due to arthritis, osteoporosis, heart disease, or other medical conditions.
  • Take care of your health. A PSW is trained to help with health-related matters. A caregiver can help you to organize your medications and can even administer some of them. A PSW can help you to monitor blood pressure or blood sugar, put on pressure stockings, or care for a wound.
  • Get where you need to go. Some PSWs will drive you to medical appointments, take you shopping, or even escort you to church or social events like bingo, dances, and family gatherings.
  • Maintain personal hygiene. Sometimes bathing, toileting, dressing, and grooming can become difficult. It can be embarrassing to ask for help from family members. PSWs are trained to help you perform these functions professionally and efficiently.
In addition, a caregiver may help you with correspondence, engage in hobbies or card games, or provide companionship.
 

Funding for Home Care

 
You may be eligible for funding to access home care. If you are a veteran, Canada’s Veteran’s Affairs Department website contains information that may apply to you.
 
Ontario residents can visit the provincial government’s Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care site, or this site featuring frequently asked questions.
 
If you think you may be eligible for funding for a live-in caregiver, this Government of Canada website may have the information you need.
 

What to Look For in a Caregiver

 
There are several considerations when you invite someone into your life and home. Primary among these concerns is safety. So when you engage a personal care worker, be careful; make sure the agency you’re dealing with has a thorough process of screening personnel. Your caregiver should have PSW training and a certificate from a college or other learning institution. Anyone you hire should be insured, and well compensated by their agency.
 
Another consideration is compatibility. You will, of course, want to employ someone who is polite, compassionate, and well groomed. But you’ll also want someone who is easy for you to talk to, and who shares something in common with you. This may be a common mother tongue, culture, hobby, sense of humour, or a shared interest. Better agencies will send several candidates and allow you to select the caregiver who suits you best.
 
Having a PSW in your life can help you to maximize your independence. Contact an agency today and learn more about the benefits of personal home care.
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