How You Can Help Seniors Keep Moving After a PSW Training Program

As a personal support worker (PSW), you may have to provide supportive care to senior clients. Your responsibilities towards them might include ensuring their safety, monitoring their health, assisting with personal hygiene, or helping them with their medication.

One challenge you may encounter when working with older clients is coming up with different ways to keep them moving. You will have to find strategies that engage and stimulate them since movement and exercise have many proven benefits for seniors. They can help reduce the risk of stroke and heart attack and decrease the probability of falls by improving bone density and strengthening muscles.

Here are some ways you can encourage senior clients to move during your career as a PSW!

Talk to Your Clients to Understand What Activities They May Enjoy

Learning more about who your clients are after your PSW training program can help you discover creative ways to keep them active. One important thing that you can do to encourage your clients to move is simply to talk to them. Discovering different things about a client’s past can allow you to develop activities that might be of interest to them instead of just repeating the same generic activities every day. For example, if a client has a special spot that they used to run to when they were younger, you can offer to walk with them to that spot.

Talking to clients can reveal activities they may enjoy

Some of your clients might be former athletes, maybe some like to dance, and maybe some like to play croquet. What your clients used to do is very important in determining what they will want to do now in order to stay active.

After Completing Your PSW Training Program, Help Clients Get Outdoors

Going outside can work wonders for physical fitness and well-being. Taking a short walk helps your more sedentary clients, who may spend a fair amount of time indoors, get some much-needed fresh air. For people who have reduced mobility, assistance getting outdoors holds a great deal of value. With your help, clients can experience the benefits of sunshine, movement and friendly conversation.

Walking outdoors increases your clients’ quality of life

Being outside is also mentally stimulating. There’s plenty to see and hear. For clients who find they have quite a predictable daily routine, the presence of plants and other people can be refreshing and energizing.

Using nature to lift a client’s mood and energy levels can also have an effect on how motivated they are to be active in the rest of their life. If you cheer a client up with a bit of sun, they are more likely to remain active in general. If your clients get into the habit of moving regularly, their circulation and stress levels will improve, further promoting health and wellness.

Link Mobility to Activities of Daily Living for Clients

A difficult reality for some clients is that their autonomy might be declining. By helping them understand the relationship between movement and independence, you can encourage them to move.

Independence can be fostered through strengthening a client’s ability to perform Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) within their abilities, which you’ll learn about in career college. For instance, if a client enjoys picking out their outfits and dressing themselves, you can link this ability to overall mobility and fitness. Encourage them to preserve the coordination, range of motion and strength required to perform tasks like pulling clothes out of a closet or buttoning up a shirt. When you remind clients of the practical application of fitness, exercise makes more sense to them as something they should prioritize.

Are you looking for a personal support worker college program?

Contact KLC College to learn more!

Professionally Validate Feelings when you Become a Personal Support Worker

personal support worker coursePersonal support workers care for individuals, assisting them with Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) such as washing, dressing, and eating. They’re a positive, supportive presence and are respectful of space, privacy, and feelings. Working with people in their everyday routines means interacting with them during different emotional states. When you support someone who is feeling frustrated, exhausted, angry, or sad, it’s important to make them feel comfortable sharing that with you. Both negative and positive feelings can be validated by you and help your clients feel even more supported. Read on to learn some of the ways you can do this in a professional way.

What if you Become a Personal Support Worker and Don’t Validate Feelings?

If clients feel invalidated, they may start to feel misunderstood, isolated, or unimportant. They may also feel that their emotions are a burden to you. When working with someone new, a client might feel anxious, as you are someone they are not used to and you’re helping them with very personal things. When you make it clear that it’s ok to express discomfort, it can have a diffusing effect on stress and anxiety. When you become a personal support worker, you can see this in practice as you will need to establish trust as a priority with clients.

Daniel Wegner’s theory of “ironic processes” tells us that the more we try to suppress thoughts, the more present they become in our minds. In the same way, if a client feels they should not have certain negative emotions, they will be harder to avoid. By letting clients be honest with you, they are able to process their feelings.

Stay Present in your work after a PSW Training Program

Sitting with difficult feelings or negative emotions is not easy, so many people will multitask or half-listen when other people express these things. As a supportive person in a client’s life, you can give them the validation they may need by accepting their words and not avoiding tough messages. Listening with your full attention can make a world of difference to a person you are supporting.

Sometimes people worry about saying the right thing when supporting – but in your work, you don’t always need to respond. Paying total attention to your clients in a non-judgemental manner offers them safety. Simply being physically present when someone is experiencing pain or frustration with ADLs can make them feel seen and validated in their experience.

Staying present with clients will help you build a trusting, positive relationship

Staying present with clients will help you build a trusting, positive relationship

Use the Information you have about Clients to Understand Them

As you may know from a PSW training program, you could assist people in your career who have barriers due to aging, ability, or illness. From what you know about their personal barriers, you can often gain insight into why they may react or feel certain ways. For example, if a client is frustrated while putting on a shirt in a new way, you may want to validate their frustration by saying something like, “Given that this is a new technique for something you’ve been doing all your life, I completely understand why it would be frustrating.”

New ways to do ADLs can be frustrating at first for clients. Validating this can make them feel seen

New ways to do ADLs can be frustrating at first for clients. Validating this can make them feel seen

This normalizes the way they feel and lets them know there is nothing wrong with their emotions. Normalizing their feelings by acknowledging that other people would be upset in the same situation can also be very validating. Instead of feeling like they need to hide frustration, they can be reminded that it’s a normal human reaction to something that almost anyone would find difficult.

Are you interested in taking a personal support worker course?

Contact KLC College for more information!

What is Restorative Care? A Guide for Students Considering a PSW Training Program

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Training to become a personal support worker can prepare you for a career in a number of different care settings. One type of care that you can play a role in providing is restorative care, which is offered at many hospitals as well as at some long-term care facilities.

Restorative care is a part of the rehabilitation process that focuses on helping patients regain independence to the fullest extent possible and improve their quality of life. Given that PSWs play an important role in restorative care, here’s a quick look at what you should know about it if you want to be a PSW.

Restorative Care is for Patients Who Are No Longer Suited to Acute Care

Restorative care is typically for patients who no longer need intensive rehabilitation or acute care, such as those who have suffered a stroke or traumatic injury. After acute care, restorative care is usually considered a next step of the patient’s rehabilitation. Restorative care helps patients to rebuild their strength and functional abilities at a pace that is manageable for them.

Unlike acute care, which may focus on minimizing illness or injury, restorative care focuses on helping patients regain a sense of wellness. While it is often performed at special facilities within hospitals, it may also be incorporated into long-term care homes as a way of helping residents attain their highest personal level of independence.

The goal of rehabilitative care is to help patients live as independently as possible

The goal of rehabilitative care is to help patients live as independently as possible

You Can Be Part of a Patient’s Restorative Care Team After PSW Training

Unlike intensive rehabilitation, restorative care is a slower phase in the client’s recovery. Fewer hours are spent on therapy sessions, for example, with the goal instead being on more long-term goals. Some days there may be no rehabilitation work at all, with patients undergoing therapy only a limited number of times a week. Restorative care tends to take longer than intensive rehabilitation or acute care does, but it is also less stressful for the client, allows them to build a tolerance for new tasks and activities, and helps them feel more in control of their recovery.

Restorative care helps patients rehabilitate at a slower, more comfortable pace

Restorative care helps patients rehabilitate at a slower, more comfortable pace

During restorative care, the rehabilitation program is created by the therapist and implemented by a team of professionals. When you become a personal support worker, you can be a part of that team, which may also include nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, physicians, speech language pathologists, dietitians, and social workers.

Restorative Care Benefits Both Patients and the Healthcare System

Restorative care has a number of benefits. For one, it is a more appropriate type of care for some patients who no longer require acute care, but who may still need a level of assistance that makes living at home impractical. While every patient’s restorative care is different, your PSW training program can prepare you for helping with some types of assistance that may be needed, such as nutrition and hydration, assisting with personal hygiene, and assisting with medications.

Furthermore, without restorative care, patients may end up staying in a bed in acute care long after they need it. Acute care is usually not set up to provide the long-term, slower paced type of rehabilitation that some patients need. By transferring the patient to restorative care, acute care beds are then freed up for patients who do need them, thus easing the burden on the entire healthcare system.

Do you want to become a Personal Support Worker?

Contact KLC College to learn more about our personal support worker college program.

Helping Senior Clients Stay Hydrated After Your PSW Training Program

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Ensuring clients stay hydrated is one of the many important duties that personal support workers (PSWs) are responsible for. Hydration is especially vital when caring for seniors because many seniors are more susceptible to dehydration. For example, some may have decreased sensitivity to feeling thirsty, some may have reduced kidney function, and others may be taking medications that can cause dehydration.

Once you become a PSW, you will need to come up with ways of ensuring your senior clients get their necessary fluid intake. Here’s a look at what you should know about keeping senior clients hydrated after your PSW training.

Grads of PSW Training Programs Should Watch for Signs of Dehydration in Seniors

As a PSW, you will need to be able to recognize the signs of dehydration so that you can prevent it from happening in the first place. Mild dehydration in seniors can present as dry mouth, headaches, decreased urination, thirst, dry skin, sleepiness, irritability, or feeling unwell. In more serious cases, seniors may experience fainting, a quick—but weak—heartbeat, low blood pressure, severe cramping, lack of sweat or tears, and rapid breathing.

If dehydration becomes chronic or goes unaddressed, it can cause extremely serious health conditions, like kidney failure, seizures, swelling in the brain, and coma. Keeping your clients well hydrated when you work as a PSW should be high on your list of priorities, since the consequences of dehydration can be quite serious.

Use the Skills Gained in PSW Training to Help Senior Clients Stay Hydrated

In your PSW training program, you will learn about hydration, and you can put that knowledge to use towards helping your older clients stay hydrated. Getting your clients to drink more water is the simplest and most obvious way of ensuring they consume enough fluids. Some of your clients may have mobility issues which can prevent them from getting their own water. In such a case, you may want to ensure that they always have a glass of water within reach. Some seniors have a less acute sense of thirst, don’t rely on your clients to tell you when they’re thirsty. Instead, make sure they always have adequate access to fluids.

PSWs can help senior clients stay hydrated by ensuring they have access to water

PSWs can help senior clients stay hydrated by ensuring they have access to water

Think of Creative Ways of Ensuring Your Clients Drink Enough Fluids

Some seniors may refuse to drink water, such as if they are battling a serious medical condition like Alzheimer’s disease. In such a case, you will need to find ways of coaxing them into consuming more fluids. Not all fluids need to come from water. If your client doesn’t enjoy water itself, try alternative sources of fluids that they may prefer. Your client may be able to meet their daily fluid intake requirements by drinking fruit juices, teas, and sweetened beverages, for example. Many fruits and vegetables also have high water content.

As a PSW, you can help senior clients stay hydrated by providing them with fruits and vegetables

As a PSW, you can help senior clients stay hydrated by providing them with fruits and vegetables

During your PSW classes, you will learn about the various health conditions that your clients could have. While it’s important to ensure they are drinking enough fluids in any form they can, you will also want to be mindful of any health conditions that could make some foods and beverages unsuitable for your clients. For example, foods or liquids that have high sugar content may be inappropriate for somebody with diabetes, while drinks high in sodium should not be given to clients with high blood pressure.

Are you ready to pursue a new career?

Contact KLC College to learn about our personal support worker college program.

Ready to Start a New Career? 4 Reasons to Enrol in Our Personal Support Worker Course

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If you’ve already decided that becoming a Personal Support Worker (PSW) is the right career choice for you, you now have another big decision to make: which PSW program should you choose to pursue your studies?

Selecting a program that provides you with the knowledge and skills needed to thrive in the role is crucial, however, you may also want to consider a school that offers career support after graduation. A quick search online will tell you there’s no shortage of PSW programs available, so how do ensure you make the right decision?

Not all PSW programs are created equal and KLC College’s stands above the rest for a number of reasons, including our hands-on education, small class sizes, and career services.

To assist you during your search, here are a few reasons to consider PSW training at KLC College.

1. KLC’s PSW Program is by the National Association of Career Colleges

Our PSW program is by the National Association of Career Colleges (NACC), which means you can rest assured that our program meets requirements set by the NACC. The NACC is Canada’s largest organization representing private career colleges and counts 500 regulated career colleges as members. Their program confirms that a college has adhered to high-quality standards. Since our PSW program is by the NACC, you will have peace of mind knowing that you’ll receive an industry-recognized education.

2. Enjoy Small Class Sizes and Flexibility at KLC College

Our students get the personalized support they need in order to be job-ready as a PSW. You’ll benefit from small class sizes led by dedicated instructors. Limiting the sizes of our classes is ideal as it prevents students from feeling “lost in the crowd.” Instead, you’ll be able to easily ask your instructor for any clarification with the course material, and you’ll get individualized help as needed.

Furthermore, because our personal support worker courses are held during the evening, our program is a great option if you have other commitments and responsibilities during the day, such as work and family obligations.

3. We’ll Help You Land Your First Job after Your PSW Training Program

Our Career Directions Program prepares students to find work soon after graduating from their program. A dedicated advisor will work with you to identify your career goals and uncover the steps you need to take to achieve them.

You’ll also receive job readiness training, interview tips, resume writing help, and job search assistance as part of your PSW program. Developing these skills will help you market yourself as a strong candidate to employers when job hunting. In fact, over 94% of PSW graduates at our main Kingston campus find employment in their field of study within six months of graduation.

The Career Directions Program at KLC College will help you succeed during your job search

The Career Directions Program at KLC College will help you succeed during your job searchBeautiful Asian businesswoman smiling and shaking hands

4. Our PSW Training Program Includes Hands-On Experience in a Clinical Placement

Hands-on training is valuable for two reasons: it is often the best way to learn the skills that PSWs need to exceed on the job, and it provides you with work experience that employers seek in job applicants. Our PSW training program features a clinical placement that you’ll complete on weekends.

You could be placed in a range of settings, including a healthcare facility, community agency, acute care facility, or perhaps another healthcare setting. You’ll work under the supervision of your instructor and a host-provided preceptor learning and applying skills that PSWs use every day. The clinical placement will help you become job-ready and in some cases and could even lead to a job offer.

Our PSW program includes a clinical placement where you’ll get real-world experience

Our PSW program includes a clinical placement where you’ll get real-world experience

Do you want to become a personal support worker?

Contact KLC College today to learn more about our programs!

How to Keep Elderly Clients Safe after your Personal Support Worker Course

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The help of a Personal Support Worker (PSW) can make a world of difference in the lives of seniors. From assisting with basic daily living activities like eating and bathing, to helping facilitate a more active lifestyle, to providing simple companionship, PSWs can make their clients’ lives richer and more fulfilling in a number of ways.

Not only that, but PSWs also take responsibility for the safety of their clients. Seniors can be at increased risk of illness, injury or accidents, and trained caregivers must do everything in their power to limit potential risks.

If you’re considering a career in this rewarding field, read on to learn how PSWs can help keep clients safe.

Removing Potential Hazards from a Client’s Living Space

A large part of ensuring the safety of seniors is assessing their living area in order to spot any potential hazards and remove them. For instance, seniors are at increased risk of suffering from falls, which can lead to serious injuries. PSWs should check that all walkways are clear of anything a client might trip over, like electrical cords. Another good tip is to tape down any rugs or mats to the floor to prevent them from moving when walked upon and causing clients to slip.

PSWs dealing with those who suffer from neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s or other cognitive impairments may also need to take additional measures to prevent clients from putting themselves in danger. This might include securing entrances and exits to prevent them from wandering, and keeping medications, cleaning products and other hazardous materials out of sight to guard against poisoning. A personal support worker course like the one offered at KLC College will include specialized training in cognitive and mental health issues to fully prepare you for the challenges of working with these clients.

Safety Aids for Seniors You Can Use After Your PSW Training Program

Depending on a client’s circumstances, it may also be possible to introduce a number of safety aids to their living environment in order to limit potential problems. For example, hand rails could be installed in the bathroom to help clients support themselves when showering or using the toilet.

For clients who live at home, it can also be a good idea to recommend buying kitchen appliances which have an automatic shut-off feature. That way, if a client accidentally leaves an appliance on, it will automatically power down after a few minutes, reducing the risk of fire.

PSW training program graduates should recommend appliances with automatic shut-off features

PSW training program graduates should recommend appliances with automatic shut-off features

Another very simple safety aid you can recommend for clients is a pill organizer. This is a compartmentalized box that will help them keep track of their medications so that they don’t forget to take their pills or accidentally overdose.

Ensuring a Client’s Safety When They Are Unsupervised

Depending on where you choose to work after your personal support worker college program, there may be times when your clients are left unsupervised. In these situations, it’s important that you take steps to prepare for any emergency situations that may arise when they are left to their own devices.

You should encourage clients to keep a phone nearby at all times, and write down emergency numbers so they can contact someone immediately if an accident occurs. An emergency response system, which is a necklace or wristband the client can wear with a button that can be pressed to call for medical assistance, can also be a potentially lifesaving device.

Emergency response systems can help keep clients safe after your personal support worker course

Emergency response systems can help keep clients safe after your personal support worker course

Above all else, it’s important to communicate with your client and be sure that they are aware of what to do in any emergency situation, and of any precautions they should take when they are alone. Doing this will help them take charge of their own safety, and ultimately allow them to foster a greater sense of independence.

Interested in helping improve the quality of seniors’ lives?

Contact KLC College to learn more about our PSW training program!

5 Workplaces that Highly Value PSW Training Program Graduates

PSW training program

From support for the increasing senior population to assistance for people suffering from illness or injury, there is a growing need for compassionate people who want to help others. A Personal Support Worker (PSW) program can prepare you to provide the support these needy individuals require by assisting them with their daily activities and providing basic healthcare.

If you are looking for a career with lots of opportunities, are a people-person and have the desire to serve, becoming a PSW could be for you. Read on to learn about a few of the workplaces that are waiting for someone like you.

A PSW Training Program can Lead to Work in a Hospital

Many hospitals now use personal support workers to help provide support to medical staff. Working in a variety of settings including long-term care units, emergency departments, and rehabilitation care, PSWs are usually charged with assisting patients with daily living tasks such as eating, bathing, and grooming.

PSW jobs in hospitals are among the most sought-after positions in the industry, with higher than average pay, but are sometimes more suited to experienced professionals as they can often be high-pressure environments. Nonetheless, a well-established PSW training program will offer you the theory and practical instruction you need to work with confidence in a hospital setting as your career progresses.

PSW Classes can Prepare you for Work in Retirement Communities

In the 2016 Canadian census data, it was found that seniors outnumbered children in Canada for the first time. Projections suggest that this trend will continue for the foreseeable future. As the older population grows, so too does the need for qualified professionals to work in senior care.

A personal support worker college program can prepare you for a job in a retirement community, where your personality, energy and training will help residents live happier and healthier lives. These residential communities or housing complexes are designed for older adults who are generally able to care for themselves, but often employ PSWs to provide some basic support to those who need it, and to assist in social activities and opportunities provided for the residents.

Your career as a PSW Could Take You to Long-Term Care

Long-term care homes are places for people who require round-the-clock care and supervision. There are plenty of opportunities for PSW training program graduates within these facilities.

As with other PSW workplaces, you would be responsible for assisting residents with daily activities like bathing, dressing and eating, among other duties. It takes a special person to serve others in their most vulnerable moments, and that is what the top PSW graduates do every day in long-term care facilities.

Work in Home Care After Your PSW Training Program and Enjoy a Flexible Schedule

Perhaps you are looking for a more flexible work schedule? In this case, your PSW training can open the door to a job as an in-home care provider. Working in this position, you will offer in-home support to the elderly, the disabled, or anyone else who needs it. PSWs working in home care provide daily assistance or simple companionship in residential settings, allowing clients to remain with their families and communities while still receiving the care they require.

A personal support worker can work on-site in a client’s home

A personal support worker can work on-site in a client’s home

This option can allow you to work a more flexible schedule than PSWs who operate in clinical facilities, making it a perfect option for professionals with families or other commitments. Home care providers are also in very high demand in more remote areas, meaning it can be a great choice if you live in a more rural community and want to work locally.

PSWs can also Work with Children

Most PSW graduates work with the elderly population, but there is another clientele who would benefit from your compassion and care – disabled youth and children.

PSW classes can lead to rewarding experiences

PSW classes can lead to rewarding experiences

If you’ve always wanted to work with kids and make a difference in your community, you can do all that and more as a PSW. You could assist summer camp participants who have disabilities, or help a child care centre if there are special needs children present. PSWs can also work in group homes where children are challenged by cognitive or physical disabilities and mental health issues.

Are you interested in helping the disabled or elderly live fuller and healthier lives?

Contact KLC College for more information about our PSW classes!