How can caregiver training benefit me?

by the Editor, SeniorInsider | Jun 02, 2011

When you think of caregiver training, it almost seems to be a misnomer. At first glance you may feel that caregiving for another is simply a natural occurrence. After all, we care for our children, our family, our friends, neighbors, co-workers, parents, and even ourselves. What could caregiver training offer us that we don’t already know?

What most of us fail to recognize is that caring for someone consistently on a more intimate level is quite a different matter, and that caregiver training has some very real benefits for both the caregiver and the cared for. Caregiver training allows the caretaker to become more aware of the overall picture as well as the smaller details and also heightens our awareness, our inclusive knowledge, and our level of sensitivity. It’s important to explore those issues in order to understand just how important caregiver training can be.

Caregiver Training to Enhance Sensitivity

If you are speaking of your own parents, then you may automatically experience this heightened sensitivity to their situation. For instance, you may begin to notice that your mother, who has always been a meticulous housekeeper, no longer seems the least bit concerned with keeping her home neat and tidy. You may see your father who was an avid gardener or builder gradually lose interest in his hobby. You could see parents who have always taken pride in their appearance wearing mismatched clothing, or clothing in need of cleaning.

And, possibly hardest of all, you may begin to notice that your loved one is finding it harder to verbally express their thoughts, having serious memory lapses or a lack of comprehension when speaking to others. All of these things you naturally notice because these are people you love—when you are a caregiver for someone you know less well, caregiver training can teach you to notice all these same things.

Caregiver Training for Medical Issues

While many of us have some basic medical knowledge, and have perhaps even taken a CPR class sometime in the past, few of us have the more specialized medical knowledge the caretaker may routinely need. You may need to learn how to give insulin injections for a diabetic, to take an accurate blood pressure reading, or to watch carefully for any medication interactions. You will need to learn how to watch for symptoms of dehydration, memory and dementia problems, and heart problems, just to name a few. Caregiver training can give you the necessary confidence to handle all medical issues without a problem.

Caregiver Training to Boost Knowledge

Just as caregiver training can enhance your medical knowledge and abilities, it can also give you the boost you need in other areas as well. You will learn many facts about aging that you probably did not know before, and the more you learn, the better able you are to deal with your elderly patient or loved one. Many caregiver duties are very personal, and involve safety issues as well. There are distinct techniques for getting a person in and out of bed, in and out of the bath or shower, and dressed and undressed which can make the task so much easier. Caregiver training teaches you such things, as well as what to do in an emergency, and how to react to a patient who has dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. If you know what to expect you will be much better at your job, and the patient will benefit.

Caregiver Training to Enrich the Overall Experience

Because caregiver stress and burnout are common, caregiver training can allow you to recognize which things you are fully capable of handling, and which may require some level of outside intervention. You will learn how—and where—to seek the help you need, and will have an awareness of the many resources available to the live-in caregiver or the home caregiver. As a caretaker for the elderly, specialized training teaches you when to seek professional help for your patient—or for yourself. You will also get plenty of tips on how to take care of yourself so your own health and happiness is not compromised during your care of others. All in all, there is little downside to getting caregiver training, so it’s well worth looking into.




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