Formal names of Clients

Formal names of Clients

This is the second in our series of Personal Support Worker Articles;

PSW Article #2: Formal names of Personal Support Worker Clients & the types of individuals that you will be working with

Formal names of Personal Support Worker Clients & the types of individuals that you will be working with


If you are interested in becoming a Personal Support Worker, you should become familiar with the type of individuals that you will be dealing with on a care basis.

Different care establishments will usually choose one of three names to refer to their members. In hospital settings, the individuals will usually be referred to as patients. In a care facility, the person will be called a resident. And outside of these establishments, usually in communities or in their own households, the person is referred to as a client.

Now that we’ve learned the different names to use when referring to a care patient, we’ll focus our view onto the type of person that is receiving the care.

Individuals with Disabilities

Disabilities can affect physical or the mental function (or both) of individuals. The severity of disabilities can very, with some patients requiring long term care and others being able to live in their own residence.

Older Adults:

Natural body changes that occur during the aging process. Along with this, social and emotional changes may also occur as well. Older clients are served both in and out of care facilities.

Medical Problems:

Whether it is illness, diseases, and/or injuries, individuals with varying degrees of medical problems will need care. Some may be short-term, and other medical problems may be of a long-term duration.

Mental Health Problems:

Individuals with mental health problems—ranging from mild to severe—are in need of assistance to complete many daily activities.


The restoration period after surgery, illness or an accident.  Rehabilitation usually takes place with a hospital, rehab clinic or an individual’s home. Person’s that are rehabilitating come in all ages & health.

Many sub-sections of patients exist, but most can be found underneath one of the preceding categories. When deciding on whether or not you are willing to enter this field of work, take into account the type of individuals that you will be working with. Is there one group that you are more comfortable working with? Less comfortable? Be honest with yourself when asking these questions.