How a Health Care Assistant Can Help Surrey’s Aging Population

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Young pretty nurse assists her elderly female patient from her bed to a walker

As BC’s aging population grows, there is an increasing demand for caring individuals who can help provide support for the elderly in hospitals, retirement communities or in their private homes.

If you’re compassionate, friendly, patient, and can think on your feet, then a career as a health care assistant could be for you. Strong communication and interpersonal skills are also important in this role, as you’ll be a part of a larger health care team working to contribute to a better quality of life for the elderly.

Read on to learn how with health care assistant training, you can truly make an impact in the lives of Surrey’s aging population.

Health Care Assistants Make Daily Living Easier

After earning your health care assistant diploma, what does a day in the life look like while on the job? In most settings, especially private residences, a typical day includes assisting patients with a variety of basic tasks that include:

  • Grooming
  • Bathing and getting dressed
  • Meal preparation
  • Making the bed, folding laundry and other household chores

Elderly patients may have trouble moving around, so you might also perform tasks like taking them out to get their groceries. Providing assistance doesn’t necessarily mean doing everything though. The support you offer provides elderly patients with the ability to get more done than they could on their own. In fact, assisting aging patients with their daily tasks empowers them and helps them maintain a sense of dignity and independence.

Assistants Provide Basic Health Care Supervision

Although your duties will vary from patient to patient, health care assistant courses prepare you to supervise and care for patients with medical conditions. Basic tasks could include:

  • Taking measurements, such as temperature, pulse, and weight
  • Supervising patient’s exercise routines
  • Helping patients take their medication, and maintaining an inventory of this medication
  • Monitoring and documenting a patient’s health status and reporting changes to supervisors
  • Collecting samples for tests

Health Care Assistants Provide Compassionate Support

One of the most important aspects of the health care assistant role is being able to talk to patients when they feel sad or anxious. As patients go through the aging process, their bodies inevitably slow down. Losing some of their basic functionality can be a frustrating time for them and no matter what, it’s crucial to ensure that patients are always treated with respect and dignity.

Subjects covered in your health care assistant program will outline counseling techniques and approaches that you can use during stressful times. For example, active listening skills help you to develop a deeper understanding of what your patients may be going through, and allow you to lend them a helpful ear.

Creating a comfortable environment where patients feel free to talk to you if they need to is a huge contribution to their wellbeing. Compassionate support means patience, remaining calm and receptive to a patient’s needs, displaying empathy, and understanding that being a health care assistant also means providing valuable companionship.

How else do health care assistants play a critical role in the lives of Surrey’s elderly?

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