（Continued from last issue）
II. Sharing the Experience
B. Staffing the Facility
7. Training should commence as soon as the worker begins work. Not all care homes are managed or operated the same way. Therefore, the new worker must be well-oriented and trained in order to minimize mistakes:
- How to keep the facility clean and free of insects; what kinds of detergents can be used; where are they stored (in a locked closet for instance).
- How to use the household appliances: washer and dryer, door alarm, cooktop, freezer, refrigerator, etc. Learn that food placed in the refrigerator or the freezer does not last forever: how long should it stay; how and when to use the heater or air conditioner.
- How to care for each resident assigned: how often to give a shower or a bath, change clothes, take to the toilet bowl; how to place and remove a diaper; how to feed the resident (what kinds of liquids and food should be given at breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks); how to administer medication to each resident; skills for helping non-ambulatory residents during transfer from one place to another, physical exercise such as walking, aerobics, etc.
- How to cook the food, serve the meals, and feed the residents.
- How to keep the premises clean and attractive at all times, and make the house free of hazards.
- Procedures in welcoming visitors, ombudsmen, and licensing analysts.
- Rules and procedures in cases of emergency: telephone numbers to call, what to say when 911 is called (name of caller, address, brief description of what has happened and what has been done to assist the victim), informing the family.
- Other forms of training and continuing education as appropriate.
III. The Resident
Placed under your care is a wide variety of older persons whose conditions, situations, behaviors, likes and dislikes, are all different. The following describes a number of the most commonly encountered conditions and situations, and how to cope with them.
1. The resident has a family that makes frequent visits, or takes him out for short rides, visits to the ice cream parlor, etc.: Try to accommodate the family in the best possible manner; have the resident ready to go out by dressing him with the appropriate clothing and diapers, taking him to the bathroom beforehand, etc.
2. The resident has no family and may be under the guardianship of the county government. Visits in this case are rare, maybe once a month, because the social worker in charge usually has a heavy caseload. For such a lonely person, try your best to make his life as nice as possible; make him feel surrounded by love and compassion.
3. The resident is ambulatory, which means that he can move around without the aid of a walker or a wheelchair. He may be clear-minded, or somewhat confused. Some analysts define "ambulatory" as "able to leave the facility unassisted."
4. The resident is non-ambulatory, which means that he must use a walker or wheelchair. A Residential Care Home cannot accept people who are bedridden. A non-ambulatory resident requires more care. He must be fed, washed, changed, and taken to the toilet.
5. The resident is incontinent, meaning he cannot control his bladder. Use diapers, and take him to the toilet periodically, normally every two hours. Clothes and towels soiled with urine must be rinsed before being placed in the washing machine. For certain residents, you can use a urinal or commode placed in the room.
6. Most of them have constipation. Constipation is the origin of many illnesses; therefore, it is very important to eradicate this condition, the sooner the better. The remedy is to give enough fluids and an appropriate diet, which may include certain kinds of food that soften the stools or facilitate digestion. Serve more vegetables.
7. Seniors need exercise. If health conditions and weather permit, a walk in the back yard or in the neighboring park is good. Have them stay in the sun for a short duration, without exposing them to sunburns. Indoor daily exercise is also good for those elderly who are strong enough and for whom exercise is recommended. You can use the TV's aerobics for fitness.
→To be continued