How Did You Learn to Provide Care?

first_aid_kitSusannah Fox of Pew Research Center wrote a blog post this week entited, “Hacking Home Health Care.” In her post, she shared how family caregivers use what they can find to make home care work. She offers the example of a family caregiver who uses a baker’s spatula to help turn her caree in bed.

Her post reminded me of the stories you’ve told over the years of how you’ve learned to use equipment and techniques in your home. I think of @kathy’s post about trying to learn to use a hoyer lift and another family caregiver who practiced changing incontinence briefs on her sister before changing her caree.

So, I’m curious: How did you learn to use home care equipment and master caregiving techniques? Were you able to learn from health care professionals (like a physical therapist) or from videos on YouTube or books? Or did you wing it at home through trial and error?

Please share how you learned to care in our comments section, below.

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About Denise Brown

I began working with family caregivers in 1990 and launched in 1996 to help and support them. Through my blog, I share words of comfort and offer coping strategies and tips. I also write opinion pieces about recent research, community programs and media coverage of caregiving issues. I've written several caregiving books, including "The Caregiving Years, Six Stages to a Meaningful Journey," "Take Comfort, Reflections of Hope for Caregivers" and "After Caregiving Ends, A Guide to Beginning Again." You can purchase my books and schedule a coaching call with me in our store.

7 thoughts on “How Did You Learn to Provide Care?

  1. Gail Kroll

    Since Mom has become somewhat paranoid I put her different medication patches on her in the AM while she is sorta groggy and change them. This helps a whole lot.

  2. Koko

    Definitely trial and error. Looking back, I feel bad about some of the things my father had to endure due to my lack of knowledge, experience, and the insight to ask others for help. If I could go back in time, I would probably be more thoughtful and savvy.

  3. Avatar of ChrisChris

    When Father Orlando was under the care of the Sisters of St. Joseph, I learned a tremendous amount about how to use care equipment, how to transfer properly and how to use care techniques. The professionals made it look easier than it really was, but it was through their great example that I thought that this is something that I could do. Of course, there was quite a bit of trail and error along the way, but without the example from the Sisters of St. Joseph, I would have been completely unaware of the proper techniques and what ‘dangers’ to look for.

    It was also at that time when I learned the importance of communicating and interacting with Care providers and the importance of having a Care team.

  4. Avatar of RichardRichard

    Growing up my mom always babysat in the home so the incontinence products was a no brainer. Then in the late 70′s and early 80′s I had to learn about walkers, wheelchairs, incontinence products again (even though I did not do any changing) and the hospital bed when my Grandma and Grandpa Kreis’s who both within a year of each other were determined to have lung cancer and then passed from (3+ packs of Marlboro cigarettes each per day) with 6 months of each other. I then had to learn about the physical therapy side of caregiving when I was placed in the situation of being a caree with chronic low pack pain. Finally, between my Grandma Marshall and my mom going through their issues, strokes, size, heart attacks, major surgeries with recovery including therapy, speech therapy, and much more, is where I learned from the vast number of doctors, nurses, techs, therapists how to use and work with/around various needed equipment. Through out all this as well as my time in the service and being a military brat with a strict dad, you learned how important communication, organization and accuracy is in life and not just from a caregivers standing.


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