A caregiver or carer is an unpaid or paid member of a person’s social network who helps them with activities of daily living. Caregiving is most commonly used to address impairments related to old age, disability, a disease, or a mental disorder.
Carer training is done throughout your in-patient rehabilitation stay in order to prepare families for the level of assistance the patient will require after discharge. Involvement and participation is encouraged during therapy sessions in order to facilitate carryover from the therapy environment to the ward and the home environment. Family can also be trained on specific exercises that can be done to optimize the effectiveness of therapy for the patient, even once they leave the gym area.
Once your family member is ready for a home trial of a few hours or a day, carer training is arranged depending on the needs of your family member. For the first home trial of a day, carer training might involve transfers, car transfers and basic bladder and bowel management.
When a night home trial is being planned, carer training might be more extensive and may involve the following: car transfers, transfers from wheelchair to bed, toilet and/or bathing aid, clothing management in dressing, mobility guidelines, toileting (bladder and bowel management and hygiene), assistance needed for washing, communication strategies and safe swallowing guidance (if appropriate).
Weekend home trials is a wonderful opportunity for the family to have a “mock run” of how much care the patient needs and prepare both patient and family members for the discharge. It’s also a wonderful opportunity to identify the areas in which more carer training or assistance may be needed in, while still having the support of the rehabilitation setting.