Just having good old-fashioned common sense, ability to lift, good communication and compassion.
Of course, if he or she has special medical needs that are not taken care of by a nurse or CNA, you would need to know how to administer the right treatments.
I have worked as a C.N.A. and a H.H.A. for years, many of my patients were elderly. Through my experience, I would say “yes” learning to properly take care of an elderly person is very important. Wither it is your family member or friend.
Learning how to perform ADL’s, to keep their joints from locking is very important. You need to learn how to move the joints, without causing to much stress and pain. Also, elderly have very fine, soft skin, that tears easily with the slightest movements. Knowing the right way to hold them, help them up, what types of clothes so that they incur less skin tears. Knowing how to care for a skin tear properly. You have to learn how to prevent bedsores and breathing exercises to keep them from getting phenomena. You also must learn the proper way to dry an elderly person off, after a bath. Their skin needs to be fully dried, especially in any area that can become chapped and in between the toes must be completely dried.
I would suggest taking a H.H.A. ( home health aid) course if your thinking about taking care of an elderly person.
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