Sektion: Lesson 1
Lesson Introduction
Lesson Introduction

The SOSU lesson is divided into 7 overall parts:

  1. General conversation
  2. Personal hygiene
  3. Naming Body Parts
  4. Bandaging Residents
  5. Medicin & Medication
  6. Lifting and moving residents
  7. Palliative Care and Death

After these lessons you will be able to:

  • Start a general conversation
  • Name various body parts
  • Talk about medication, bandaging & personal hygiene
  • Talk about measuring blood sugar & lifting residents
  • Talk about palliative care, death and dying

Culture info - What is a SOSU helper?
Culture info - What is a SOSU helper?

A SOSU helper provides professional care to people who cannot care for themselves. Professional means that the residents, their needs and stories, are the center of attention for what you do. You can share your own stories, but remember that the resident must be the center of attention.

You will typically work with older people at nursing homes, or perhaps visit and assist them in their own homes, if they are still able to reside there. 

There are a lot of chores or functions you will have to do and communicate about

On a daily basis you will probably assist with:

  • Personal hygiene
  • Cleaning, shopping 
  • Contact to next of kin and public authorites

Communication tasks might involve:

  • Listen to the needs and wishes of the residents
  • Chat with residents about weather, food, activities and appointments
  • Talk to colleagues about residents
  • Talk to next of kin about their family member

Intro video
Intro video

Watch the video and try to follow the conversation. It uses many of the terms and phrases that you will be learning in this lesson. 

Lotte: Godmorgen Margot.

Margot: Godmorgen.

Lotte: Har du sovet godt?

Margot: Ja, ja.

Lotte: “I 1972 blev kronprinsesse Margrethe til Dronning Margrethe d. II af Danmark...hendes far……….."

Conversing with your residents
Conversing with your residents

An important aspect of your job is to converse with your residents and talk about their day, their schedule and life in general. 

In the introduction you have learned how to greet at different times of day with goddag, godmorgen, godaften and godnat

In the following, you can pick up some good conversation starters and information providers.

Conversation: morning
Conversation: morning

In the morning when you arrive to help a resident out of bed, you say godmorgen. 

You may hear the same back, and you can ask:

Har du sovet godt?
Did you sleep well?

You might hear your resident ask for breakfast, or you can ask them:

Vil du have morgenmad?
Do you want breakfast?
Conversation: daily schedule
Conversation: daily schedule

You can ask a resident about their day, or tell them about their daily schedule by saying i dag skal du and combining it with the activity:

Skal du noget i dag?
Are you doing something today?
I dag skal du...
Today you are going to...
...til tandlægen
...to the dentist
...på tur med din familie
...on a trip with your family
Conversation: afternoon and general
Conversation: afternoon and general

Later on in the morning, or in the afternoon when you revisit the resident, there are other connversational topics you can use:

Hvad laver du?
What are you doing?
Vil du have kaffe?
Would you like some coffee?
Hvad ser du? på tv
What are you watching? (on TV)
Hvad læser du?
What are you reading?
Hvad strikker du?
What are you nitting?
Conversation: dinner time
Conversation: dinner time

Food, including dinner, is mostly prepared in a central kitchen at the nursing home and served to the resident

Så er der aftensmad
Dinner is ready
Hvad har du lavet i dag?
What did you do today?
Har du haft en god dag?
Did you have a good day?
Conversation: Night time
Conversation: Night time

In the evening, when you arrive to help a resident to bed, there are some typical things that you can say in addition to godaften and godnat.

Vil du gerne i seng?
Would you like to go to bed?
Kan du sove godt
Sleep well
Jeg kommer med dine piller i nat
I'll bring your pills in the night
Så er det sengetid
Now it is bedtime
Godnat og sov godt
Goodnight and sleep well

You could also be asked if you have time to read a bit?

Personal Hygiene
Personal Hygiene

As a SOSU helper, there will be plenty of times where you have to assist your residents with their hygienic needs. Among these are going to the bathroom, bathing, showering, brushing their teeth, cleaning wounds and similar.

Personlig hygiejne
Personal hygiene
Going to the bathroom
Going to the bathroom

There are times when you will need to help you residents go to the toilet or change their diapers. 

Toilet stol
Toilet chair
Skal du på toilettet?
Do you have to go to the toilet?
Jeg henter lige din toiletstol
I'll get your toilet chair
Jeg skifter lige din ble
I'll change your diaper
Giving a bath
Giving a bath
Bath tub
I dag skal du i bad
Today you are taking a bath
Du skal i...brusebad/badekar
You are going to shower / in the bath tub
Too hot or cold?
Too hot or cold?

There are a number of important questions to ask while giving a bath to a citizen.

Er det for koldt?
Is it too cold?
Fryser du?
Are you cold?
Warm / hot
Er det for varmt?
Is it too hot?
Bathing the resident
Bathing the resident

You can either ask your resident to do something themselves: kan du (can you...) - Or, ask if you have to do it, skal jeg (shall I / do you want me to...)

Kan du...
Can you...
Vaske dit hår?
Wash your hair?
Vaske dig på kroppen?
Wash your body?
Tørre dig?
Dry you?
Skal jeg...
Shall I do you want me to...
Vaske dig i ansigtet?
Wash your face?
Skylle dit hår?
Rinse your hair?
Tørre dit hår?
Dry your hair?
In front of the mirror
In front of the mirror

Many hygienic processes take place in front of the sink and mirror:

Brushing teeth, shaving, cutting nails, putting on lotion, etc. You can use the kan du / skal jeg distinction here as well. 

Børste dine tænder?
Brush your teeth?
Barbere dig?
Shave yourself
Rede dit hår?
Comb your hair?
Klippe dine negle
Cut your nails
Lægge make-up
Put on make-up?
Smøre creme på?
Put on lotion?
Body Parts Intro
Body Parts Intro

In the picture you can see the names of various body parts, that you will need to learn. 

In the following pages you can hear them pronounced and practice saying them. 

Note: Click the image to enlarge it.

Body Parts practice
Body Parts practice

Listen to, and practice, saying the various body parts below. If you forget what they mean, go to the picture on the previous slide to check.

Upper arm
Lower arm
Body Parts practice II
Body Parts practice II

Continue practicing the various body parts.

Body Parts practice III
Body Parts practice III

And, just a few more:


As part of your job, you will be required to be able to apply bandages to wounds and similar. In the following, you will learn vocabulary, questions and conversation relating to that.

Putting on a bandage
Putting on a bandage

In Danish a bandage is also known by the same word although pronounced slightly different. So, you can use it. 

But, more common is the term forbinding.

Jeg lægger en forbinding
I'll put on a bandage
Bandaging items
Bandaging items
Support stocking
Giving instructions
Giving instructions

While putting on a bandage,you might need the resident to assist you a bit. You can ask various questions, such as:

Kan du...
Can you...
...bøje benet?
...bend your leg?
...løfte benet lidt?
...lift your leg a bit?
Er det for stramt?
Is it too tight?

Administering drugs and pills will certainly be a part of your daily routine. There are two types of drugs, those that you can buy without a prescription Håndkøb and those that require a prescription, recept, from a doctor. 

When giving medicin, It is your responsibility to ensure that:

  • It is given to the correct resident
  • It is the correct amount of tablets
  • It is given in the correct way
  • On correct date, at the correct time 

Below you can find various different forms of medication that you must be familiar with.

(Lit: hand purchase)
Soluble tablets
Medication II
Medication II
Vaginal suppository
Medication III
Medication III

There are some medical items that are used fairly frequently.  

Band aid
Pill box
Eye drops
Medication IV
Medication IV

You can tell the resident what you are doing, or give instructions:

Jeg henter dine piller
I will get your pills
Jeg smører salve på din arm
I'll rub ointment on your arm
Skal jeg dryppe dine øjne?
Can I drip your eyes?

You can ask the resident if there is anything wrong, and what

Er der noget galt?
Is something wrong?
Har du ondt?
Are you in pain?
Hvor gør det ondt?
Where does it hurt?
Measuring blood sugar
Measuring blood sugar

It is common to measure a residents blood sugar level if they have diabetes.

Blood sugar
Blood sugar measurer
Jeg skal måle dit blodsukker
I am going to measure your blood sugar
Measuring blood sugar
Measuring blood sugar

Other items you use for measuring blood sugar are: a disinfection cloth for cleaning the area, a needle for pricking the finger, test strips for the blood and swabs, to stop the bleeding afterwards.

Desinfection napkin
Test strip
Finger pricker
Lifting and moving residents
Lifting and moving residents

There will be times when you have to assist a resident in getting somewhere, or have to help them entirely get where they have to go. But since you are not allowed to simply carry people, there are various aids that you can employ instead.


The lift is a very common way of assisting with moving residents who can't move by themselves. 

The ceiling lift runs on a series of tracks mounted in the ceiling. It can be used both to lift a resident from bed to chair, or vice versa, or up from the floor 

Ceiling lift

The floor lift is very versatile because it can be moved around freely and has lots of applications, such as moving residents from their bed to a chair, or up from the floor.

Floor lift
Palliative care
Palliative care

Palliative care is the act of providing the best possible care for a person who is terminally ill, thereby increasing the quality of life in the time which is left. This can consist of many different things:

  • making food enjoyable
  • extra assistance with personal hygiene
  • changing linen and beed sheets to avoid smells

And many other things.

When somebody is sick, you say:

Han er syg
He is sick

People may suffer from various ilnesses. One of the more common ones is:

Hun har kræft
She has cancer
Severe illnesses
Severe illnesses

In addition to terminal illnesses, there are several other life-changing ilnesses that may afflict people:

Hun er dement
She is demented
Han har parkinsons
He has parkinsons

There are several other potentially debilitating ilnesses that strike, especially, older people.

Brain hemorrhage
Blodprop i hjernen
Blood clot in the brain
Culture info - death
Culture info - death

Death is not something Danes find easy to talk about. But Danes do tend to get fairly old, and the average age of living has only increased over the years. 

Today women generally live until they are 83 years old, and men until they are 79.

Historical point of view

A hundred years ago, death seems to have been a more natural part of life. Many people died at a younger age, and becoming old was deemed lucky. If you had 10 children, you were lucky if 3 of them reached adulthood. 

A lot of people died in wars or accidents. If you were ill, you were taken care of at home, by your family and you died under the supervision of your family.

Many of these things are different today. We live longer, we are taken care of at nursing homes and we die in hospitals. Perhaps people were better equipped to deal with death a 100 years ago, although the sadness of the loss was most likely identical.

Death, dying and dead
Death, dying and dead

Death, dying people and their mourning relatives, will undoubtedly be a part of your work routine.  When you have residents that die, you have to contact the relatives (unless they were present), and tell them what has happened. There are different ways of saying a person is dead. 

  • Død (dead)
  • Han er gået bort (he has passed away) a quiet metaphor for dying
  • Han sov stille ind (Lit: he slept in, quietly) a way of saying that he/she simply went to sleep as usual and didn't wake up again.

Jeg er ked af det på jeres vegne
I am very sorry on your behalf
Han er død
He is dead
Han er gået bort
He has passed away
Han er sovet stille ind
He passed away quietly
Jeg kondolerer
My condolences
Quiz 1
Quiz 1

You enter Margot's appartment in the morning, to help her out of bed. Say good morning and ask her if she slept well:

Quiz 2
Quiz 2

Margot is known to have type 1 diabetes, so her blood sugar should be measured before she eats. Tell her that you are going to measure her blood sugar:

Quiz 3
Quiz 3

Margot is eating breakfast, while you are making her bed. You know her schedule. Tell her that today she is going on a trip with her family:

Quiz 4
Quiz 4

Margot is eating breakfast, when she suddenly says something

What do you tell her?

Quiz 5
Quiz 5

Margot is complaining about something. What do you ask her?

Quiz 6
Quiz 6

Drag the image to the correct sound file

Quiz 7
Quiz 7

After breakfast you are giving Margot a shower. Ask her if it is too hot:

Quiz 8
Quiz 8

Margot is watching TV. Ask her what she is doing:

Quiz 9
Quiz 9

One of the other residents in your care at the nursing home has passed away. You are meeting his family for the first time since it happened. 

Give them your condolences and tell them that you are sorry on their behalf:

Quiz 10
Quiz 10


You have completed the SOSU section of WorkSim. We recommend that you move onto the game section of the course now and test your skills.

Remember, you can always come back and practice again, or use WorkSim as a reference guide. In case you are looking for additional free learning ressources, we have provided a few links below:

Dansk Her og Nu

Online Dansk

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