Help for helpers of the homebound

November 25, 2012 

First, bless their hearts, these good folks who try to help elderly or sick neighbors or relatives with medications or dressing bandages. These are no easy tasks, and in many cases friends and kinfolk are performing tasks once reserved for doctors or nurses. But with more people trying to stay in their homes longer, and with the expense of assisted living care, many folks do their best to stay on their own.

However, they do rely on people who want to help but who, as noted at a recent conference of the Gerontological Society of America, may lack training in how to be safe or comfortable themselves in performing these tasks. It’s an increasing issue, given the aging of the Baby Boomer generation.

The best advice: Seek assistance from county social services offices, ask advice from doctors or talk with others who are doing similar tasks. Unless you are a medical professional, chances are you need more training.

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