Wound care now normal for family caregivers
A recent report conducted by the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) has shown that the role of family caregivers has evolved from household tasks to performing medical duties, such as wound care, which was once only provided in hospitals.
The report, called Home alone: Family Caregivers Providing Complex Chronic Care, reveals that now, more than ever, family caregivers are taking on an increasing medicalised role in home care, including tasks such as wound care, medication management and other nursing responsibilities.
More than a third of family caregivers in the US now perform wound care tasks, including the application of dressings and administering prescription drugs, as well as treating pressure ulcers and post-surgical wounds. Almost 100% of family caregivers found wound care difficult due to the fear of making mistakes and causing harm to their loved-ones, not knowing exactly what to do, the fact that it takes time to care for a wound and also, that it may be emotionally difficult for the caregiver themselves.
Although woundcare training was provided by a hospital nurse, physician or a home care nurse, more than a third of caregivers felt that more training was necessary to ease their concerns about their wound care skills.
The report calls for professional terminology to be updated and for definitions of the role and tasks caregivers undertake in order to understand and support their work.
To read more, click here.
Image: Caregiving. Credit: a4gpa on Flickr.