Practical resources to help family caregivers in the midst of caring for someone

Caregivers, learn the skill of infection prevention and control

Caregivers often learn new skills in their role as caregivers.  At its core, the pandemic has taught us that infection prevention and control is the responsibility of everyone. The best thing we can do for ourselves, our families and the people we are caring for, is learn about best practices and standards as it applies to infection prevention and control. While we are all advised to follow public health guidelines, there is a new opportunity for caregivers and families to gain knowledge and the skills to manage the prevention and control of infection. While we are all talking about COVID-19 right now, these skills can be applied to a range of infections and their prevention. Read on to find out more about this opportunity in the form of a free online course.

blue hand sanitizer pump bottle

Infection prevention and control for caregivers and families

During this COVID pandemic, the latest skill for caregivers to learn is infection prevention and control. Many caregivers are worried about the health and safety of the people they are caring for. And this worry looms large when someone is receiving home care, is in hospital or a long-term care facility.

While every institutional setting, like a long-term care facility or hospital, will have its own practices, there are best practice techniques in infection control to use both in the home and in institutions.  McMaster University Continuing Education is currently offering a free online, self-paced course that can help you learn these best practice techniques. All you need to take this course is a computer and access to the internet. You can sign up and start at any time​.  The ​learning platform allows you to work at your own pace, guides you through modules, and directs you to a wide variety of helpful resources.

Who is this online course suited for?

Consider taking a break from Netflix/Amazon Prime/Apple TV, etc. and take this course. You may be a caregiver who wants to know whether you are doing all you can to prevent and control infections. Or maybe you are a caregiver with limited knowledge and you want to become more skilled. Or maybe you  simply want a refresher. Whatever the reason for your interest, it will be time well spent.  You could make it a family affair (‘though admittedly, you may need to build in a reward!)

Course details: what you will learn

  • Important terms and concepts such as germs and infection
  • Hand hygiene and handwashing best practices
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), including masking
  • Environmental cleaning
  • Navigating infection realities during the pandemic.

Caregiver benefits ++

Caregivers have told us that they want to develop skills related to caregiving, and this skill development will increase their confidence. This (timely) course can give you one of these skills, with the attendant increase in your confidence. This confidence will be beneficial in different situations.

  • Home care.

With your knowledge and skill, you can be an advocate for infection prevention and control in the home of the person you are caring for. This is relevant for all family members and visitors in the home, as well as home care professionals who do home care visits As a caregiver, you may be the gatekeeper, so to speak, the one who needs to hold all people in the home accountable for appropriate infection prevention and control. The health and safety of clients, their families and home care workers is also a top priority of home care organizations. To further support your role as a caregiver, here is checklist of what to expect from your home care worker AND a checklist for your part in reducing the spread of COVID-19 and protecting yourself, the person you are caring for and home health care workers.

Your home care agency or your home care worker should inform you if there are any additional infection prevention and control practices as the situation dictates.

Homecare Worker Checklist PDF

Client and Family Checklist Home Healthcare PDF

  • Hospitals and long-term care homes.

With the certificate from this course, you can bolster your case as an informed essential visitor. Taking the course, and earning the certificate indicates how seriously you take infection prevention and control. Unfortunately, caregivers have had to work hard to be recognized as essential visitors/care partners during this pandemic.

How to register for this FREE online course

Register in two quick steps:

  1. Complete the registration form here.
  2. Once completed, you will receive an email to create an account in Desire2Learn (D2L), a learning platform. Create an account to access the program.

What do you do to stay informed about the best practices for infection prevention and control? We would love to hear from you.




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