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  • Training a New Caregiver When You Have SMA

    Posted by kevin-schaefer on January 28, 2019 at 7:00 am

    Hope everyone had a great weekend!

    So as I mentioned in a previous post, I just started working with a new caregiving agency, in order to acquire a caregiver to work Saturday mornings. I worked with this person this past Saturday, and it went quite well. This woman was really competent and had a lot of experience in healthcare. I’ve been really impressed with this agency so far.

    Nevertheless, training a new caregiver is always anxiety-inducing for me. I’m fine with Spinraza injections, speaking engagements, traveling, and a host of other things that might make other people nervous; but when it comes to working with a new caregiver, I always dread the experience at least some. Especially with my morning routine, it’s exhausting taking someone new through each step and making sure that they do everything correctly. I also worry about personalities blending and all of those things as well.

    Again, I’m glad this one worked out, but it’ll still take some time before she gets my routine down without any help. My Dad was there Saturday to help show her the ropes. She did really well with getting me in and out of the bathroom and showered, and my Dad didn’t even have to help there. The challenging part was getting me from my bed to my wheelchair, and then situated in my chair with my catheter on. This part will probably take some time to really “master.”

    Do you all have these anxieties as well? Do you have any specific strategies for training a new caregiver and making them feel welcome? I always feel like I’m overwhelming them at first, especially because my morning routine and the way I have to be handled is so specific.

    adnan-hafizovic replied 5 years, 4 months ago 4 Members · 11 Replies
  • 11 Replies
  • deann-r

    Member
    January 28, 2019 at 2:44 pm

    Training a new PCA is among my least favorite things to do, and yes causes lots of anxiety.  Today I had my new PCA doing the routine totally on her own.  As like you the trickiest part is getting comfortably (and safely) back in my chair.  Everyone does things just a little differently so I try to figure out what’s the best and easiest way for her to do things.  It’s tough to have an actual conversation too because you have to be directing them the whole time.  I can’t imagine how difficult it would be if I wasn’t able to direct them.  Some things though you can’t teach, so you just have to get used to their style.  Finally when you think you have everything “mastered” as you say you usually have to do it all over again.

    • kevin-schaefer

      Member
      January 28, 2019 at 2:53 pm

      Right??! Like it’s worth it, and I’m just glad I finally have someone for Saturday mornings, but no matter how many times I do this song and dance it’s always frustrating. I am glad that this person was really competent though and listened well. That’s definitely not always been the case.

    • ryan-berhar-2

      Member
      January 28, 2019 at 8:31 pm

      DeAnn, that’s something I often think about—how everyone does everything slightly differently. It’s not necessarily even a bad thing, it just takes time to get used to all the subtle differences between caregivers. Even my family, whose been taking care of me for almost 23 years, have to be reminded of certain things. It’s just interesting.

  • adnan-hafizovic

    Member
    January 29, 2019 at 10:26 am

    It would be good when we find an adequate caregiver, that this caregiver is with us for a longer time.But that is hard.

    • kevin-schaefer

      Member
      January 29, 2019 at 11:53 am

      I’ve been fortunate in this regard, in that my primary caregiver has been with me for the past four and a half years. It’s rare for any CNA/PCA to stay that long, but I’m very blessed. Most of the time you have to be flexible and willing to work with multiple people.

  • adnan-hafizovic

    Member
    January 30, 2019 at 5:02 am

    You have luck Kevin and it is easier for you,when your caregiver knows what you need.

  • kevin-schaefer

    Member
    February 3, 2019 at 3:23 pm

    So this agency sent another person yesterday, and she was even better than the caregiver I had last week. She had a ton of experience with ceiling lifts, and really she needed minimal assistance from my parents when it came to learning my routine. It was refreshing to say the least. Weekend caregivers are especially hard to find, but this agency is working out great. Just wanted to share this as encouragement to everyone out there. If you’re trying to hire more caregivers and gain more independence, don’t give up.

  • adnan-hafizovic

    Member
    February 5, 2019 at 10:32 am

    Kevin who are better caregivers, males or females?

    • kevin-schaefer

      Member
      February 5, 2019 at 11:29 am

      Adnan I’ve had good and bad experiences with both male and female caregivers. Some prefer to only have caregivers of their same gender, which I get. I don’t really mind as long as they’re good.

    • deann-r

      Member
      February 7, 2019 at 9:59 am

      Adnan, it’s really a personal choice. Since I live on my own I feel more comfortable having same sex caregivers. When I’ve had hospital stays I had both male and female. Both have positives and negatives. I’d say guys have more physical strength so positioning is a little easier, but women are more detail oriented. Just my observation though.

  • adnan-hafizovic

    Member
    February 7, 2019 at 11:38 am

    I have same opinion,for lifting is better male caregiver but women are more gentle.

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