Personal support workers are healthcare professionals who provide care and support to the elderly, as well as those who may be recovering from illness or surgery. Much like community support workers, individuals who decide to pursue PSW training should be compassionate and caring by nature, and they should also have a strong desire to help others. PSWs can often be found working in hospitals, private care facilities, long-term and short-term care facilities, group homes, community centres and of course, private residences. Research has shown that the type of care that PSWs provide to senior citizens has the ability to improve and enhance the quality of their lives, as well as the lives of their family members.
If you’re planning to pursue studies in healthcare—whether it be personal support worker training, nursing training, or even paramedic training—there could not be a better time than right now to do so. Read on to learn why.
Growing Demand for Senior Care in Canada
In 2011, the median age in Canada was 39.9 years, and it has since risen to 40.6 years. While this number might not seem like it is very high, it’s important to note that in comparison to the median age in 1971, which was 26.2 years, our population has actually aged quite a bit. In fact, senior citizens make up the largest and fastest-growing age group in the entire country, and they also require the most support and medical attention. This trend is expected to continue and carry on for years to come, as the baby boomers get older and begin to enter retirement.
It should come as no surprise to anyone that the growth of the senior population has no doubt sparked an increasing demand for certified healthcare professionals in all areas of the industry, as Canadian seniors will need to be cared for while they continue to age and their physical and mental health begins to falter.
The Importance of PSWs
The growing demand for homecare services and personalized care only makes sense, as hospitals are increasingly becoming overpopulated with patients, and there has been a decline in the space available to accommodate all of the seniors who require long-term care. Research has shown that there has also been a substantial decrease in healthcare professionals who are specifically trained to care for seniors. This is a major concern considering the already vast population of seniors that is only expected to grow.
Personal support workers are not only fully trained and capable of providing the long-term care that seniors are in need of, but they are also able to travel to deliver this care to their elderly patients. Whether a senior is residing at home, in an adult day program or perhaps in a hospice care facility, personal support workers are available to cater to his or her every need.
Certified PSWs are typically responsible for performing a range of duties, some of these include physical care, personal hygiene, recreational activities and home management. These professionals are also skilled in providing companionship to the seniors they are caring for, which is an essential part of making a positive impact in their lives and preventing loneliness that can sometimes lead to depression.
Which area of healthcare do you think you are best suited for?