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A Brief Intro to Ambulation for a Personal Support Worker Career

Senior woman using a walking frame with male nurse at home

Walking is a simple and effective way to stay healthy. If you become a personal support worker (PSW), one of your duties will be to assist clients with ambulation, which is the medical term for walking. While ambulation is something that many of us take for granted, for some, including many elderly people and those with disabilities, it can be a challenge.

Fortunately, with your PSW training you’ll learn the skills needed to help clients with ambulation. Below, we’ll take a look at why walking is so important and how you can assist clients with staying mobile and active.

Walking Can Help Your Clients Stay Healthy Both Physically and Mentally

Walking has numerous health benefits, especially for those who may not be able to perform aerobic exercises like running. For example, walking can significantly cut the risk of cardiovascular disease, obesity, stroke, diabetes, and vascular stiffness and inflammation. Walking also helps protect from dementia, depression, stress, colon cancer, and peripheral artery disease.

Furthermore, simply getting outside and enjoying the sunshine and fresh air can help clients elevate their mood and get some vitamin D. While not all clients will be able to go for long, brisk walks, participating in even short walks, such as to the end of the block and back, is a great way to stay active and feel more independent.

Shot of a happy elderly woman walking with her nurse around the gardenTaking walks has many health benefits and helps clients retain a sense of independence

Helping Clients with Walking Aids Allows Them to Get Around More Easily

Many of your clients will likely use walking aids, such as canes and walkers, and some of these clients may require your support in the use of such devices. When you take personal support worker training, you’ll learn various methods of assisting clients with ambulation. One way you can help clients who use a cane or walker, for example, is by providing a steady arm for them to hold onto as they walk.

The level of support you’ll need to provide during ambulation will vary from client to client. Some clients may not require any physical assistance to walk, but will rather just need somebody close by to ensure they do not trip. In other cases, you may need to use a transfer/gait belt to help the client get up and to their walking aide.

Senior Man's Hands On Walking Frame With Care Worker In BackgroundAssisting clients with walking aids can help them get around more easily

Housekeeping Duties You’ll Learn in Your PSW Program Can Help with Ambulation

During your PSW program you’ll learn how to perform routine housekeeping duties for your clients. Maintaining your client’s living space can greatly assist with their ambulation and minimize the risk of trips and falls. For example, keeping the home clear of clutter and debris helps ensure that your client has clear pathways in order to move around safely. Likewise, you’ll want to remove any tripping hazards, such as cords and loose rugs. You should also ensure that floors are dry and that light bulbs are replaced as needed in order to provide your clients with adequate lighting. These small measures can go a long way towards making your client’s home one that is conducive to moving around safely.

Do you want to pursue a personal support worker career?

Contact Oxford College to learn more about our programs.

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