Helping Seniors During COVID-19: 5 Reasons Why Personal Support Worker Careers Are So Important

With seniors disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, Canada has turned its attention to the vulnerability of the elderly population in recent months. Seniors require additional assistance and protection, and times of crisis make these needs even more apparent. 

But who is there to provide this care, even when it potentially puts them at risk? Personal support workers (PSWs). These individuals not only help seniors meet their basic needs – they provide them with critically important companionship.

While the COVID-19 pandemic has brought forth challenges across Canada, it has also shined the spotlight on those that are working tirelessly to ensure the health and safety of the country’s most vulnerable. If you want to be part of this important work, read on to learn just a few reasons why personal support workers are essential – in both times of crisis and beyond!

1. Personal Support Worker Careers are Always Essential

Many elderly people require assistance related to mobility, medication, and even basic needs like nutrition and personal hygiene, and those in personal support worker careers provide these vital services. Pandemic or not, personal support workers are always essential.

During the COVID-19 crisis, people across Canada have found creative ways to express their gratitude for people like personal support workers who still must show up to work each day in order to help society function properly.

2. Personal Support Workers Understand How Seniors Experience COVID-19

Not everyone experiences the same COVID-19 symptoms, and seniors are no exception. Fever and respiratory issues are symptoms commonly associated with COVID-19, but those in PSW training understand that these indications can register differently in older individuals.

For instance, fever is not always present in older adults infected with COVID-19. Respiratory symptoms, furthermore, could be concealed or aggravated in individuals with co-occurring diseases like COPD. 

Personal support workers can help better detect COVID-19 symptoms in seniors


3. PSWsProvide Essential Companionship

With many seniors already struggling with feelings of isolation and loneliness before the pandemic, the current social distancing regulations – which are especially stringent at long-term care facilities – can worsen this problem significantly.

Personal support workers have the opportunity to provide these individuals with much-needed social interaction during this time. PSWs often play an important role in the lives of those they serve by providing a consistent presence and building strong relationships.

4. Personal Support Workers Can Help Seniors From a Distance

The impact of a personal support worker often goes beyond the job description. Those interested in pursuing this line of work often already go out of their way to help others, and a PSW career is an excellent way to make a difference in your community.

During the COVID-19 crisis, one of the best ways you can improve the mental and emotional well-being of your clients is by showing them how to use video conferencing technology like FaceTime or Skype. That way, they can still connect with their loved ones from a distance.

Video chat can provide an elderly person with much-needed contact from their loved ones


5. PSWs Are Held to High Safety Standards

Since personal support workers are in direct contact with vulnerable individuals, they are held to a higher standard when it comes to protecting themselves from infection, assessing whether they could be carrying COVID-19, and wearing the right protective equipment on the job.

Ensuring the safety and well-being of those in need is an important responsibility held by personal support workers, and it is crucial for those interested in this career to make sure they get the right training in order to properly carry out this duty.

Interested in personal support worker courses?

Contact Canadian Business College to learn more about our PSW program!

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