With successes recorded on her expertise training, the UPTH Geriatric center known as Care of Elderly Persons Unit (CEPU) opened admission on her fourth batch training course for healthcare assistant and geriatric care givers from the 4th through 8th of September 2023.
63 candidates successful screened for admission. During the inaugural lecture, a consultant geriatrician, Dr. Fidelis Okoebor gave the ground rules to geriatric care . He mentioned the importance of administering medications at the right time, as giving elderly people medication later than the prescribed time can be considered risky. Care givers are expected to avoid abuse of elderly persons, as to being rude to them because they may appear to be too slow and weak. Also they shouldn’t be taken advantage of financially being old and not likely to be smart.
Dr. Okoebor also appealed for a campaign for the sake of elderly persons, for organisations/institutions to provide ramps for wheelchairs not just stairs and elevators in public places
Speaking further on challenges faced by Geriatrics caregivers, Dr. Fidelis Okoebor made mention of the following challenges: Dementia, depression, incontinence, orthostatic hypotension, falls & dizziness, polypharmacy, arthritis and frailty.
The scope of the course also covered ENT (Ear, Nose & Throat) Challenges in older persons, Dental challenges, Safety in the bathroom, Chronic joint pains, Causes and management of acute confusion in older persons, Stroke prevention, Legal aspects of Geriartric care, use of walking aids, Common nutritional problems, Managing agressive wandering in older persons and Managing incontinence in older persons.
Geriatric trained nurse, Matron Ashimole Charlotte trained participants on feeding techniques, introduction of Nasogastric tube which is inserted through the nose into the stomach that requires 24 hour’s supervision. Appropriate clothing and dressing of clients, managing pressure ulcers and the importance of record keeping.
practicals sessions on
patient handling and transfers, how to manoeuvre hospital beds, dressing aids and use of water beds.
International certified geriatrician and lead facilitator for the course, Professor Hope Bell-Gam handled the basics of Geriatrics, Health assistants (HCAs) & Geriatric care assistants (GCAs) , and principles of care giving .
At the end of the course candidates underwent practical and theoretical examination. To round up the course on the 9th was the formal presentation of award of excellence and certificates. Participants were commended for their discipline, dedication and efforts during the program. Okeke Mary Jane Nnenna (Gold Medalist), Tawu Pepple (Silver Medalist) and Isogie Austin (Bronze Medalist), had their award according to the grades of their performance . A total of 63 participants were certified Health care assistant and Geriatric care givers.