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Elder caregiver's choice should take into account patient's needs

Elder caregiver's choice should take into account patient's needs

In Brazil almost 80% of the more than 26 million elderly people have at least one chronic illness. The aging process, when accompanied by diseases that cause functional limitations, brings with it many demands for care, often leading to the need for someone to assist the elderly in their activities. This person is called a "caregiver."

Elder caregiver is a profession recognized by the Brazilian Code of Occupations (CBO), which defined code 5162 for the category of caregivers of the elderly. According to the CBO, this is an activity of great responsibility, since these professionals take care of the elderly from objectives established by specialized institutions or direct responsible (families), taking care of the well-being, health, food, personal hygiene, education, culture, recreation and leisure of the person being assisted.

It is important to remember that the caregiver is an important professional in the provision of such care, but will never replace the technical and specialized care of the health professionals who assist the elderly

be a relative or a professional hired for this purpose. Many family members take on this task because they believe that caring for a loved one is a natural attitude. However, regardless of the relationship with the elderly, there are fundamental prerequisites for caring for someone in an adequate way that can be divided into personal and technical competence.

Technical competence

Technical knowledge must be obtained through specific training courses for training of caregivers, which will address fundamental issues such as: aging process, concepts of autonomy, independence, dependence, functional capacity, specific diseases of the aging process such as Alzheimer's dementia syndromes, risk factors that can aggravate the health condition of the elderly, hygiene care (such as bathing), organization of the home environment and, above all, learning to be a facilitating agent for aging with dignity and respect.

Personal competence

O individual who decides to be a caregiver needs to be clear that he should always prioritize his own the health, always present capacity and physical, emotional and spiritual preparation, taking care of their appearance and personal hygiene, education and good manners, to be able to perform their functions on a day-to-day. Over time, the elderly may become more dependent and require more care and physical and mental effort from the caregiver, who must have his or her own physical and mental health to handle the burden of care. flexible to adapt to different structures and family patterns, respect the privacy of those being cared for, demonstrate sensitivity and patience to know how to listen, because most of the time the elderly have only the caregiver as a company and this can be requested time

The realization of leisure activities should also be taken into account, which should be of interest to the elderly. For this, it is important to know the life history of those who will be cared for, their cultural values, their wishes and desires, so that the daily life of the elderly can be as pleasant and meaningful as possible.

Choosing the caregiver

It is It is essential that the family has references of that person, if they have already worked in other households, if the profile of the elderly person they have cared for is similar, if they have a training course, what is the posture during the interview, if it proves to be a calm, patient, while at the same time proactive to make decisions in times of emergency.

Generally the training courses prepare this professional to serve from independent elderly, who need a caregiver more as a companion for prevention and promotion of active aging, to elderly people with various levels of physical and cognitive impairment such as those who are bedridden and totally dependents. But the same caregiver does not always have a profile for any type of patient, and he or she must have a clear profile of the elderly person who has the ability to care.

If the elderly need more specialized care, especially the responsible physician, will guide the family regarding the need to hire professionals with appropriate technical training for each phase of this process. Sometimes the elderly may need nursing professionals, for example.

The important thing to remember is that the caregiver is an important professional in providing these care, but will never replace the technical and specialized care of health professionals who assist the elderly , such as nurses and nursing technicians, physiotherapists, psychologists, nutritionists, occupational therapists, but it plays an essential role in supporting the team and the patient.

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