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February 11, 2020

The Longmont agency will use the grant to train more caregivers through its innovative HomeCare 100 Professional Caregiver Training Program

HomeCare of the Rockies, the Longmont-based provider of professionally trained, in-home caregivers, is the recipient of the prestigious Colorado FIRST grant.

The Colorado FIRST grant is awarded to Colorado companies who are expanding, as well as those who are relocating to the state. Grant monies are to be used to support job training and workforce development in support of Colorado workers and companies.

At HomeCare of the Rockies, the Colorado FIRST grant, underwritten the Colorado First and Existing Industry Customized Job Training Program and managed by Front Range Community College, will be used to implement and expand the HomeCare 100 Professional Caregiver Training Program.

The innovative program developed by HomeCare of the Rockies founder and president Sandi McCann was designed to create a sustainable workforce of professional caregivers with advanced training who are prepared to meet the complex and diverse care needs of the older adults in the community.

The HomeCare 100 also supports caregivers by linking learning to earning. Caregivers receive paid trainings and they also become eligible for pay raises as they complete course credit hours.

“Our goal has always been to support the older adults in our community and the people who care for them,” McCann says. “We are so honored to receive this grant, which will allow us to continue to develop and expand the HomeCare 100 so that professional caregivers are given the classroom knowledge they want and the practical hands-on experience they need. Because of this comprehensive approach to caregiver training, the older adults we serve receive exceptional care and our community gains a well-trained workforce.”

The grant will be used to offset the substantial investment required to provide this kind of advanced caregiver training, said Sara Russell, R.N. the Director of Operations for HomeCare of the Rockies. Russell, who has extensive experience as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) instructor in Colorado, was instrumental in securing the grant and developing the program’s curriculum. She also teaches many of the HomeCare 100 courses.

The HomeCare 100 Caregiver Training Program is unique to the caregiving industry. According to the 2019 Home Care Benchmarking Study, the average home care agency offers about eight hours of caregiver orientation and training, often relying on online courses for their caregivers.

HomeCare of the Rockies’ caregivers receive 100 hours of training through the in-class sessions taught by industry experts, caregiver labs, hands-on demonstrations, and supervised on-shift, client-care practicums. This layered learning experience prepares them to care for older adults with diverse and complex conditions like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease, heart disease, cancer, and other health issues.

“There are many things that make the HomeCare 100 unique and successful for those who want a career in caregiving,” Russell says. “We want to support the caregivers with increased income and career opportunities but also make sure they feel confident and prepared when working with any client.”

For the people of Colorado, recognition with the Colorado FIRST grant is a win-win, McCann says.

“Thanks to the grant, we can continue to make this unique training opportunity available to others and help more seniors even while supporting the working people in our community.”

Articles for Seniors & Caregivers from HomeCare of the Rockies

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