Home care workers are the unsung heroes of the social care sector. Often working long hours at a minimum wage, home care workers take care of elderly and disabled patients in their own homes. It can be a difficult job, especially when your patient is frail and lonely, but you don’t have time in your schedule to sit and have a chat with them. However, it’s not all doom and gloom, and for the right person, the role of a home care aide can be hugely rewarding.
Read on to learn more about essential products and useful healthcare supplies for the elderly every home care worker needs.
Working as a home care aide means dealing with bodily fluids on a daily basis. Many elderly patients are incontinent. Some may drool because they have had a stroke and are partially paralyzed. You might also need to change wound dressings. As such, a pack of latex gloves is essential, as you will need to change your gloves each time you move on to a new client.
A Notepad and Pen
Always carry a small notepad and pen, so you can make notes when needed. For example, if a client asks you to call a relative, or pick up some groceries for them, without a note, there is a chance you might forget the details. An alternative to a notepad and pen is a notepad app on a smartphone, but bear in mind you’ll lose access to this if your phone battery dies.
Keep a few pens in your pocket or purse. You might have to fill in healthcare records at the patient’s home, so other carers know what’s been done and when.
Hand sanitizer is essential, especially in the Age of Covid. Wash and sanitize your hands as often as possible, to avoid transmitting germs from patient to patient.
There will be times when you need to check on a patient at night. A small pen torch is useful if you have to read notes or find something in a darkened bedroom. Keep this in your bag at all times.
Some kind of watch is essential. Use it to monitor how much time you spend with each client and also your travel times if you are required to make a note of times and mileage. Many home care workers use fob watches, as they can be clipped to uniforms and don’t cause injury when maneuvering a patient in and out of bed or the bathtub.
These days, home care workers are often required to follow a schedule so they know where they need to be at all times. This can be a paper schedule or an electronic one; make sure you keep yours with you at all times.
Fully Charged Cell Phone
Lastly, always keep your cell phone fully charged, in case you need to summon assistance in the event of a health emergency or similar crisis.