Caregiver: Do you ever wish you could be trained to do what you do?

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When I care for my husband, I often wonder if there isn’t a better and less exhausting way to do the things I do. I learned much of how to do things from observing the nurses and aides at my mom’s and husband’s facilities. But, there was never any formal training. What do you all think about a community college offering classes for people on caregiving? It could be taught by nursing assistants, nurses, social workers, and even someone who could speak about Medicaid and Medicare and what they cover. It would teach people how to turn someone in bed, bed bathing, bed changing, using lifts and other equipment, etc., how to do home therapy and deal with less than cooperative patients, as well as offering support to us caregivers, or know where we could find groups. I know I’d take the course if it were offered. Would you?

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I was new to this too. I cared for a friends mother, who was on hospice, and my friend needed to return to work. Her care and needs grew rapidly. She used to be an active woman who excercised daily. Within 4 months she was bedridden with dimentia. I think it was the pain meds. But we slowly learned together. I turned to Google. Just ask a question and click i feel lucky, or determined. Vuala. Class videos. We also had a nurse who came in once a week to take vitals and such.
Good luck and don't forget to take care of you too.
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Far too late now, but I remember the first times I had to change my mother’s diaper during visits home from the nursing home. She was, for lack of a better term “dead weight” couldn’t help in any way, and I was clueless. My husband would lift her from the wheelchair onto the bed and then quickly flee the room. And from there I was on my own to figure it out. My mother was mentally completely aware, so somewhere in the process she’d find the whole disaster funny and laugh at my pathetic effort. I’ll always appreciate her being able to find the humor in such a trial. So, yes, I could have used a class or at least some instruction. I did get a bit better at it after watching the aides, but I never had the equipment or resources they did, namely two people. My own comedy of errors!
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I have learned a lot online but also DH's HomeHealthCare Nurses have been most forthcoming with info and instructions. Hospice will also help teach you the ropes. Sometimes you just have to ask.
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Nope. I am a retired registered nurse. My specialty was Oncology and administration of chemotherapy drugs via IV.
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I WAS trained as a caregiver and did that as my JOB. I learned so much--but each "patient" is individual, and honestly? caring for a family member is a totally different dynamic than caring for a client at "work". I was MUCH MORE APPRECIATED by my client, and was able to leave at the end of my shift and not think about the day.

Caregiving for family is fraught with emotional ups and downs and other family members being involved, etc. To me, caring for my FIL was pretty easy, also for my daddy, caring for my mother has been one long nightmare.

In truth, after you've learned the "basics" you really just have to adapt the caregiving to the person. Every client was a different animal, so to speak. You learn along the way. This board has been a huge help to me in the process.
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I don't think my brain has any more room to learn a "new career" as I was in my late 60's when it came time to help out my parents, who were very independent and wanted to stay in their house even though they were in their 90's :P

Back when I was younger, a gym rat, I might have tackled caregiving courses, since I had the energy and the strength to possible be hands-on care for my parents. My issue would be to quit my long term career, that I had worked very hard to accomplish, to be a caregiver. Plus would I have the patience to do this type of work?

Now if there were courses regarding Medicare/Medicaid, the difference between Independent Living, Assisted Living, Memory Care and long-term-care/nursing home that would have been valuable information.

Also financial information on what to expect when one's parents start to age. I never in my life thought that getting older was going to be so expensive.
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I think that’s probably the best thing to do—take a regular STNA or CNA class. Good idea.
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If you have a community college, nursing home, or technical school in your area, it's quite possible they hold CNA classes. My near-area has all this possibilities.

I'd love to go to a class and I've researched them, but in my case, I just can't get away often enough or reliably enough to sign up. 
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Many good ideas, Jeanne. I learned a lot from YouTube as well, But nothing compares to hands-on with supervision. I am always concerned that I will accidentally hurt my husband or myself by doing something wrong. Maybe part of Home Care should be having someone come out specifically to teach the caregiver on a case by case basis.
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Well, I certainly have wished for training! But more along the lines of what Teepa Snow offers -- how to interact with someone who has dementia, not so much the nursing skills.

Caregivers are always busy and taking time for a class would have to be very worthwhile. I would structure the course in segments, without any requirement to sign up for all segments. I never needed to know how to give a bed bath or how to use lift equipment. I'd skip those sessions. But it sure would have been nice to have suggestions about how to get Mom to shower or bathe! I would attend a session on swallowing difficulties or one generally on eating and nutrition, but not on bed changing.

I love the idea of classes, or short training sessions, especially with these features:
1) Sessions are short and each concentrates on specific skills. Caregivers can pick and choose.
2) There are concurrent sessions for people with dementia. Maybe just showing a movie in an adjacent room, or serving a snack. Not a "lesson" but a day-sitting service.

Many caregiver support groups provide some of these benefits. Mine has had professionals in to talk about Medicaid, or the legal aspects of caregiving. We've never had anyone in to demonstrate how to change an adult incontinence product, but we've had people ask and get answers like "there is a wonderful video on youtube ..."
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