In the world of caregiving, being able to properly help seniors and people with disabilities with simple activities of daily living can make a world of difference. For caregiver Jennifer Davis, it means giving the people you’re caring for “a lifestyle that allows them to feel like they have a life worth living.”
Davis was one of more than 300 In-Home Support Services (IHSS) providers who recently completed CLTCEC’s IHSS+ caregiver training program. The training’s curriculum covers essential caregiving skills such as nutrition, safety, medication, and personal care.
Davis said that one of the most important sections of the training revolved around navigating activities that typically require manual dexterity. The module turned out to be critical information she needed to care for her partner, who is quadriplegic. “I learned how to properly assist with her medication. It was important to the two of us – being able to help her handle the meds in her hands and help her put it in her own mouth,” Davis said.
For Annie Gibson, who has been a caregiver for 20 years, the training opened her eyes to other things she could do to make life more comfortable for the people under her care. In the module dedicated to nutrition and diet, she learned about assistive devices that can help a person eat.
“It was instrumental for me to learn how to use the modified utensils for eating, especially for my client who is in hospice,” Gibson said. She also made sure her client’s family knew how to use the tools to continue the standard of care when she’s not around. “I showed her son how to use the plate, spoon, and the attachment to the plate to help them push the food around.”
Training like this is “absolutely important so caregivers know the proper tools and techniques to do their jobs,” said Davis. “It provides uniformity for all providers so we can say to our clients, ‘This is how we were properly trained. We work with you and work for you.’ That’s important for them to recognize.”