When you accompany your loved one to various appointments, you inevitably encounter various professionals. So, who does what exactly? To get a better idea, we suggest this glossary from the Guide to Practical Support (GPS) for Caregivers, designed in cooperation with l’Appui Laval.
The case manager (social worker, nurse, occupational therapist)
Ensures that the person and their family are accompanied and supported in the expression of their needs and preferences. The case manager promotes integration of actions and continuity of services within the health care network and the community by supporting autonomy and keeping the elderly in their natural living environment.
The social worker
Assesses and analyses the needs and social functioning of the person and their environment. The social worker organizes services, supports the person in applying for housing (if appropriate) and participates in obtaining a mandate in anticipation of incapacity.
Evaluates the person’s health, determines and monitors the execution of the nursing plan and provides care and treatment in institutions in the health care network or at home (blood tests, changing bandages, equipment (stomas), etc.). The nurse also teaches certain care techniques to the person or their family.
The Health and Social Services assistant (ASSS)
Provides home help services to persons who have temporarily or permanently lost their autonomy by promoting autonomy and active participation. The assistant provides basic hygiene care and may also perform certain daily life activities (providing assistance in changing positions, administering medication, putting on support stockings, etc.).
The occupational therapist
Evaluates how well the person performs their daily activities and then makes recommendations to promote autonomy and enable the person to maintain or improve their quality of life by adapting their physical and social environment (suggesting technical aids, teaching how to perform current activities, lending equipment, etc.).
The physiotherapist and the physical rehabilitation therapist
Assist the person in recovering as much of their physical capacities as possible, as a function of their potential. They intervene in preventing falls or after a functional limitation resulting from an injury, surgery or an illness (exercises, treatment and training).
evaluates the nutritional needs of the person in order to prepare a plan designed to maintain or restore their health. The dietician-nutritionist gives nutritional advice, evaluates and supervises the food offered in health network institutions and acts as a resource person with Meals on Wheels programs.
Gives advice and offers information on prescription medicine, choice of OTC medication, evaluates the gravity of a condition, possible contra-indications, drug interactions, self-medication, takes blood pressure and blood glucose readings. Certain services are offered in the pharmacy (sometimes for a fee): record analysis, prescription renewals, medication in pill dispensers or dispill, drug delivery, giving nursing care (wound care, foot care for diabetics), blood tests, administering vaccinations, etc.