Personal support workers (PSWs) play a crucial role in helping vulnerable people live their best possible lives with safety, dignity, compassion & respect. They usually work with seniors & vulnerable people who need extra support with daily living tasks (also known as ADL’s – activities of daily living).
Personal support workers help clients maintain their dignity, stay safe, and remain as independent as possible.
Care is given following the principles of D.I.P.P.S. (Dignity, Independence, Preferences, Privacy, Safety), ensuring the health and well-being of the patient as a whole.
The care is provided in the person’s home which can include any of the following settings:
- Their own private home
- Supportive housing
- Assisted Living
- Group Homes
- Retirement homes
- Long term care facilities (LTC)
- Adult day programs
Personal support workers help with tasks that people can no longer do on their own because of age, illness, injury, or disability.
Some PSWs choose to specialize in caring for clients with specific health care conditions and needs.
Their goal is to help clients live safely and comfortably.
The specific job duties will be a bit different depending on where you work and what your clients need.
PSWs who work in a long-term care facility likely won’t drive a client anywhere or carry out many housekeeping tasks.
Some of these tasks may include:
- Ambulation, lifting and transferring those who have difficulty moving around on their own
- Assist person(s) with activities of daily living (ADLs) such as bathing, dressing, grooming, skin care, oral hygiene, toileting
- Reminding clients to take their medications at the appropriate times (in accordance with established employer or government policy)
- Light Housekeeping ie: sweeping/vacuuming floors, tidying rooms, and washing dishes
- Changing sheets and doing laundry
- Planning and preparing meals according to specific dietary requirements
- Shopping for groceries and picking up prescriptions
- Chatting and spending time with clients (providing companionship and emotional support)
- Escorting clients to appointments and social outings
- Helping clients carry out prescribed exercises
- Observing and reporting changes in clients’ behavior, attitude, or overall health to a supervisor