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Consider becoming a P.S.W.

Adventures in Eldercare January 2012

The holiday season is now behind us, the decorations boxed away and some order returning to our homes. I had mentioned in my December article that the holiday season tends to be a time that families start to make inquiries regarding home-care for their elderly relatives. This has certainly been the case! Victoria Eldercare is helping more seniors stay safely in their own homes and to do this we have had to hire new caregivers. That led me to my article idea for this month. Who are these caregivers we send to your home?

The back-bone of the non-medical Eldercare industry is the Personal Support Worker or P.S.W for short. There are business owners and managers, nurses and therapists, but it is the PSW`s that do the day to day work in seniors homes.

As an Eldercare business owner I am very fortunate to have a terrific selection of PSW`s trained and graduated from the PSW program at the Fanshawe College campus located in Simcoe. This means that many of the students in the program are local and when they graduate they are more likely to look for work in their field right here in Norfolk and Haldimand counties.

At the Simcoe campus the PSW program runs from January until the end of August. To enter the program you must have a high school diploma or the equivalent and have no criminal record. If completed successfully the graduate will have earned a PSW Ontario College Diploma. This is the job description as it appears in the Fanshawe college program

information; Graduates, as entry-level unregulated workers, have the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to provide personal care and home management services to clients in both community and institutional settings. Personal support workers work with clients who are stable and who have clearly identified needs that are not expected to change significantly. They work under the supervision of care/service teams (which include nurses, and other regulated or non-regulated care providers), as well as under the direction of the client.

The job prospects for PSW`s are extremely positive. There has been and there will continue to be tremendous growth in the home-care industry. By the year 2030 a full one quarter of the Ontario population will be over the age of 65. That aging trend is even more pronounced in Norfolk and Haldimand counties. The college also recommends that the potential applicant would be well suited to the PSW program if they exhibited the following traits. They have a knowledge of and interest in working with seniors and families. Development of personal responsibility and emotional maturity by participating in social organizations interested in helping people and that they have the ability to co-operate with others in the delivery of health care. Call Fanshawe College in Simcoe at 519-426-8260 or visit their web-site at for more information.

As well as the college training, the new PSW will receive training from the company that hires them. In our company we promote a client centered approach to care and instill this value in our care-givers. New workers are also CPR and First Aid certified and take additional on-going courses to keep skills current and learn new techniques. An example of this is the Gentle Persuasive technique used by our PSW`s when working with patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.

Dr. Bruce Veltri operates Victoria Eldercare, a non-medical home care agency matching exceptional care-givers with elderly seniors, to help them maintain independence and remain safely in their own home. Victoria Eldercare can be contacted by phone, 519-429-2644 or the web-site,

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