Domestic Helper Skills Needed for Elderly Care

The aging population has left Singapore with more than a million elderly people. It’s no wonder that many domestic helpers from the Philippines/Indonesia/ Myanmar are hired by families who need extra help to take care of an elderly family member.


When it comes to providing elderly care as a domestic helper, there are several skills that can greatly contribute to the well-being and comfort of the elderly individuals you’re caring for. Here are some important skills you must consider:


1. Patience and Empathy
Working with the elderly requires a great deal of patience, understanding and empathy. Many seniors may have physical limitations or cognitive decline, and they may require extra time and support with the daily tasks, such as bathing, dressing and eating.


2. Communication
Effective communication skills are crucial in understanding and responding to the needs of elderly individuals. Clear and compassionate communication can help establish trust, build rapport, and ensure their preferences and concerns are addressed.


3. Personal Care Assistance
Depending on the needs of the elderly, you may be required to assist with personal hygiene tasks such as bathing, grooming, dressing, and toileting. Knowing proper techniques and being sensitive to the individual’s preferences and comfort level is important.


4. Mobility Assistance
Helping with mobility is often necessary, especially for seniors that requires assistance with mobility, such as transferring from one position to another, supporting them during walks, or using mobility aids such as walkers or wheelchairs. Understanding proper body mechanics and techniques to prevent injury while assisting with mobility is important.


5. Medication Management
Many seniors have multiple medications that need to be taken at specific times. Being organized, detail-oriented, and responsible for managing medication schedules, proper dosage, and potential side effects is crucial for their health and well-being.


6. Basic Medical Knowledge
Having a basic understanding of common health conditions affecting the elderly, such as diabetes, hypertension, arthritis, or dementia, can help you anticipate their needs, recognize potential symptoms, and respond appropriately. However, it’s important to note that you should never provide medical treatment or advice beyond your training and scope of practice.


7. Safety Awareness
Creating a safe environment is paramount when caring for the elderly. This includes preventing falls, removing hazards, and ensuring the home is well-maintained and accessible.

8. Meal Planning and Preparation
Many elderly individuals have specific dietary needs or restrictions. As a domestic helper, you may be responsible for planning and preparing meals that meet dietary restrictions, providing proper nutrition, and ensuring hydration. Additionally, being aware of any food allergies or swallowing difficulties is important for their safety.


9. Companionship and Social Engagement
Providing companionship is an essential aspect of elderly care. A domestic helper should be able to provide companionship, engage in conversation, listen to their stories, and plan activities to promote social interaction and mental stimulation.


10. Adaptability and Flexibility
Every elderly individual has unique needs and preferences. A domestic helper should be flexible and adaptable to adjust their caregiving approach based on the elderly’s current condition and requirements.


Having these skills as a Filipino/ Indonesian/ Myanmar helper means a lot to your employers, at least to the elderly. So, if you are planning to work for an employer who needs you to take care of the elderly in the family, it is best to acquire these skills before you start your employment.


Remember that every elderly person is unique, and their care requirements may vary. Flexibility, patience, respect, and a willingness to learn and adapt to individual needs are crucial for providing excellent elderly care.

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