Where to go for caregiver training classes

by the Editor, SeniorInsider | Jun 02, 2011

Most all senior home care agencies will offer some form of caregiver training classes to their new hires, consisting of orientation, basic caregiver training and continuing education seminars. Caregiver training classes can be invaluable in learning how to take care of the elderly. While many of us feel like caregiving is something which comes naturally, in truth there are many facets to taking care of someone, especially when they are almost wholly dependent upon you for their every need. Caregiver training classes can allow the caregiver to gain an entirely new perspective on their daily caregiver tasks and duties.

How Caregiver Training Classes Benefit Your Loved One

If you are wondering why you should ensure that the person who takes care of your loved one has taken caregiver training classes or has received certification, remember that all certification programs require caregivers to successfully complete a criminal background check as well as a drug test. Many nursing homes and senior home care agencies require their caregivers to be certified as it gives them a little more assurance that the caregiver has no criminal record, is not on drugs, and has the basic skills necessary to take care of the elderly. State records of caregiver certification programs will also indicate whether the person providing care has any formal complaints or disciplinary actions taken against them. This can be vitally important when choosing a caregiver for your parent or loved one.

Caregiver Training Classes for the Paid Caregiver

Family members are quite often taken aback to find that a caregiver may have much greater success in their interactions with the senior than they had. Quite often this can be directly linked to the fact that the caregiver participated in caregiver training classes and has been sufficiently trained in the best way to provide care for the elderly. Your state’s department of health will have their own set of regulations regarding caregiver training classes and certification programs.

Some states require that paid caregivers complete training classes and become certified, or even licensed, while others do not. All states currently provide accreditation for CNAs and some will also provide certifications and classes for Home Health Aides. All states maintain an archive of the caregivers who hold working certifications, and most will require continuing education or at least constant employment in order to keep the certification active.

Caregiver Training Classes for Family Caregivers

Many hospitals, senior centers and community programs will offer caregiver training classes as well as support groups for both paid caregivers and family member caregivers. You could also check with your local community college, as these can be good resources as well. Even though you are “only” providing caregiving services for your own family member, you may decide to pursue training and certification simply for the additional skills and knowledge it will provide you. Many times it is more difficult to deal with our own family members than total strangers, and caregiving training classes can teach you alternate approaches to your senior that can make all the difference in how they react.

Special Caregiver Training Classes for Seniors with Dementia or Alzheimer’s

Most all caregiver training classes will include instruction on personal care techniques, bathing techniques, respecting the dignity and boundaries of the patient, training on the best way to meet the physical and nutritional needs of the patient, education on dealing with emotional support and wellness issues as well as how to take advantage of local support groups, and coaching on the best way to recognize the early warning signs of health issues or illness.

The caregiver will learn how to check basic vital signs as well as how to use oxygen, wheelchairs, and how to care for the bedridden. This type of solid background allows the caregiver to keep their elderly charges comfortable and gives them confidence in their own knowledge and skills. If you will be caretaking for a senior who has dementia or Alzheimer’s, it’s important that you take special classes which address the unique needs of these patients.

In fact, statistics show that offering simple training to those who are caring for patients with cognitive issues not only eases the burden of the caregiver, but can keep the patient out of a nursing home for up to a year or year and a half. By 2050 it is estimated that over 16 million seniors will have Alzheimer’s. As a result, caregivers must be both educated and trained to deal with the unique circumstances surrounding these patients. Caregiver training classes are the ideal way to ensure your loved one receives the very best care available.



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