Schools Training

Senior’s Newspapers, A Great Resource for Grads of PSW courses

19 MAR 2012
Career Path : Personal Support Worker

Grads of personal support worker courses who want to develop a better understanding of their elderly patients should consider picking up an issue of the local senior paper. It will give them insight into activities and issues.

Most cities and towns have their own community papers just for seniors. Reading these papers can be a great way for new grads of personal support worker (PSW) courses to get a handle on the needs of their elderly clientele.


Many of these papers include a community calendar listing events likely to appeal to the elderly clientele of graduates of PSW courses.

If you are looking for a way to coax your elderly patients out of their homes, show them the calendar and ask them to choose an event that interests them. Remind them that in your PSW courses you learned how to accompany people with health and mobility issues on outings into the community.

Legal issues

A recent article by Joyce Blond Frank in Montreal’s The Senior Times explains the ins-and-outs of changes to the laws governing emergency lease braking. It’s important for graduates of PSW courses who work with the elderly to keep up with such information on behalf of their patients, especially those who suffer from social isolation. You are their trusted network.

The changes mean that it is easier for Quebec’s seniors to terminate their leases in order to move into facilities where they can seek the care of graduates of personal support worker (PSW) courses.

In the past, an elderly person who needed to break their lease to move into a residence staffed by graduates of PSW courses technically could do so with three months’ notice.

But problems often arose when it came to defining eligible facilities. Because of this, the government now provides a legal definition of “personal assistance services,” which reads like a list of the tasks that students of PSW courses are expected to learn to perform. It includes:

  • managing medication
  • assisting with the tasks of daily living
  • helping with daily hygiene
  • helping with getting dressed
  • helping with transferring in and out of bed
  • helping with using the bathroom

A well-informed graduate of PSW courses can help a vulnerable patient avoid a difficult legal struggle by keeping abreast of such changes in the law.

Social issues

The same issue of The Senior Times contains another article, by Kristine Berey, of potential interest to graduates of PSW courses, on the right to self-determination in old age.

Graduates of PSW courses who work with the elderly are better placed than most to relate to this piece, which looks at how our society sometimes infantilizes the elderly and deprives them of the right to make their own decisions, particularly regarding finance.

Looking for the senior paper in your community as you embark on your career after PSW courses will help you anticipate and cater to the needs of your elderly patients.