What Can Paid Caregivers Help You With?

June 19, 2021

Guide post with four arrows - top one pointing left with the word help; next one pointing right with the word support; underneath one pointing left with the word advice and the bottom one pointing right with the word guidance.

Each and every family, at one point or another, has come to face some challenges. Sometimes these are just small hiccups along the way, but other times difficulties are almost impossible for families to manage on their own - such as the illness or disability of one member - and it becomes clear to them that external help is needed. In circumstances like this, families might want to hire the services of a personal support worker (PSW), but they may feel uncertain about what caregivers can actually help them with, which is exactly what we want to answer in this article.

A PSW's job is to take care of those who can’t care for themselves, and because of this, their role is essential in the healthcare sector. While many of them work in facilities like hospitals, nursing homes, long-term care homes, and retirement homes, others offer their services to families in their own homes, assisting them with their daily activities and looking after their children, elders, or members with special needs.

One of the main reasons why families are not entirely sure about what PSWs can help them with is the fact that it is an unregulated profession, at least in Ontario, thus it doesn’t have a standard job description or a well-defined list of responsibilities. Generally, the responsibilities of a PSW depend on each patient's plan of care, the type of services they or their families need, and other unique factors.

When caring for children, for instance, PSWs (also called Children Support Workers) help their families by providing them with quality care and support, as well as coordinating activities for their skill development and recreation. Some of their specific responsibilities include assisting children with bathing, dressing, oral hygiene, skin care, hair care, and toileting; and also planning their meals, cooking, and feeding them, or assisting them while eating.

Additionally, Children Support Workers may accompany them to doctors’ appointments and other activities outside their homes, including recreation and physical therapy. In some cases, these caregivers can even perform general housekeeping tasks for parents, like sweeping, vacuuming, emptying garbage cans, washing and folding laundry, making their beds, etc.

How to Find the Right PSW to Fulfill a Family's Needs

Families should know that finding the right PSW for them doesn't have to be a complicated task. They have the option of hiring one independently or through a home care agency. 

When hiring a PSW independently, what most people do is post ads on job boards, social media, or advertising websites, or simply ask around in their communities for referrals. Another option, especially in these times of social distancing, is going through a job matching platform. 

Once they have a few names on a list, families can start the interview process, and prepare for the next steps: getting a personal background check of their candidate, both locally and federally; verifying his or her education certificates, and double-checking their skills and qualifications match their needs. It's good to know that some job matching platforms can take care of all of these verifications as well by providing families with the necessary documentation about a candidate before they make a decision.

The benefit of hiring a private or independent PSW is that families can take care of all aspects of the hiring process themselves, making sure all the paperwork is in order (employment contract, tax forms, etc.), getting workplace insurance that fits their budget, and situation, and being able to directly negotiate certain things like overtime when needed, holidays, and vacation days. 

On the other hand, some families choose to go with home care agencies. These are companies that have multiple PSWs recruited due to their qualifications and skills to provide support to people in their own homes. Many agencies are government-funded, which means that if a family qualifies to receive the services of a PSW, the costs of hiring one may be covered by government subsidies, depending on the province where they live. However, this alternative leaves families with little to no control over the hiring process, the services they get, or the number of hours they receive these services, which is less than ideal. 

Whichever route a family chooses, what matters is knowing when to ask for help and how to get the right help to care for any family member that needs an additional helping hand. After all, that's what a family does, caring for one another and loving each other unconditionally. 

About Caring Support

Caring Support is an innovative job matching platform serving as a central resource for healthcare workers and organizations to come together to fill in the numerous amounts of job vacancies that have opened during the pandemic. The platform is especially focused on Personal Support Workers (PSW), Registered Nurses (RN), Registered Practical Nurses (RPN), and healthcare volunteers in Ontario.

What Caring Support aims to do is accelerate and simplify the talent acquisition process for healthcare organizations, helping them find active PSWs and other skilled workers in their region. At the same time, providing healthcare workers with the best job postings available in the job market, so they can move forward with their careers.

Caring Support is completely free for PSWs and healthcare workers. They can access the site to create a caregiver account and immediately start getting noticed by employers looking for committed, passionate, and determined professionals in the healthcare field. Additionally, they can join other caregivers in the platform through social media (Facebook, Instagram, Reddit, and LinkedIn) where Caring Support is building an online community for workers to share and discuss their concerns, ideas, and thoughts related to employment.

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