Personal Support Workers’ Role in the Society
With a good portion of the population reaching their advanced years, the need for personal support workers is increasing by the hour. Personal support workers are essential in dealing with the needs of an ageing population. But what are personal support worker and what do they do?
Personal support workers are considered as health professionals and they provide short-term or long-term care. They can work as companions to the elderly, helping prevent depression and bringing a positive outlook in their lives. They have been trained to act as personal assistants who can help people with their daily goings-on. While others work with private individuals, some personal support workers are hired to work in care centres, usually under the direction of healthcare professionals such as nurses and doctors. The condition of the residents in these health care facilities determines the type of work personal support workers are supposed to do. And they can do a wide array of tasks such as physical care and that would include taking care of the individual’s personal hygiene as well as his mobility; home supervision which may involve shopping, laundry, and cleaning; child care; and organizing social as well as recreational activities for the residents. Personal support workers make sure that whatever they have been tasked to do, they will maintain the independence, privacy, and the dignity of the individuals that they care for.
Personal support workers are usually hired by a number of facilities such as clinics, hospitals, private care service providers, group homes, and community centres which offer adult care programs. Some have also found work dedicated to one client in their own homes. Examples of people cared for by personal support workers include the elderly, people who are recuperating from accidents and individuals who are very ill.
Some of the responsibilities of personal support workers include:
- Taking care of persons or families that have been incapacitated or recuperating
- Overseeing personal and bedside care such as assistance in bathing, personal hygiene, dressing and other forms of movement
- Programming and preparing meals, such as special diets
- Nourishing and assisting in feeding individuals
- Teaching proper baby care to new parents
- Doing various health-related duties like administering medicine and gathering specimens under the supervision of a nurse
- Performing routine housekeeping tasks like washing dishes, doing the laundry, and making beds.
- Providing companionship and personal care with the elderly and recuperating patients either in a facility of in their client’s abode
The personal support worker’s job is challenging but it can also be tremendously fulfilling and worthwhile.