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By Sandi McCann
Reviewed April 2019, by Sara Russell, RN

HomeCare 100 caregiver training

Life shifts suddenly. The stroke that forever alters the way we navigate our household. The Alzheimer’s diagnosis – so far, the symptoms aren’t severe but you are noticing changes in your spouse; the fall that led to the unexpected hip surgery. Now, your loved one needs some care and help at home. But where is that help going to come from?

It’s tough finding just the right person, someone who is both highly qualified and compassionate, to come into your home. Not everyone has the professional skillset to support your loved one’s changing and complex care needs. Not everyone will respect your routine or maintain the professional boundaries you expect in your home. Some caregivers don’t even think about it.

Right now, the training requirements for in-home caregivers vary from state to state. Professional caregivers in Colorado are required to have only eight hours of training – which can be completed online – before they begin caring for your loved one.  I just don’t think that’s enough.

That’s why we provide our HomeCare of the Rockies caregivers 100 hours of comprehensive care training through the innovative HomeCare 100 Professional Caregiver Training Program.

Here’s what I know from experience: The more training a caregiver has the better care your loved one will receive, now and in the future – even if their needs change. And, a trained care professional can also help lower the risk of injury or other health complications and reduce the chance or rehospitalizations for seniors.

A qualified caregiver knows what to look for and can identify household hazards, dangerous symptoms, and medication side effects – before they become serious health problems. And because they know how to handle safe transfers, hygiene care, and other tasks, professional caregivers can help keep many accidents from ever happening.

Ultimately, the right qualified caregiver also aids in healing and recovery by ensuring that the older adult remains adequately hydrated and nourished, takes medications as prescribed, and completes physical therapy homework.

These are just some of the things our caregivers are trained in and offer to the seniors they serve. In the HomeCare 100, we also discuss age-related changes, legal and ethical issues for caregivers, infection prevention, techniques to assist with the activities of daily living, as well as grief and end of life care. And we provide hours of dementia-care training. Our caregivers learn about the stages of the disease, care strategies, methods to ease anxiety and agitation, and ways to connect and communicate with people who are living with the illness.

And, we go further. Our caregivers learn how to communicate and connect with the seniors they serve by providing meaningful activity for the older adults they care for, no matter what stage of life your loved one is in. We want our clients to have meaningful lives, not just long ones.

This kind of comprehensive training is one reason The HomeCare 100 has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Labor and chosen as part of their elite Apprenticeship USA program, which provides on-the-job, paid training and work experience to help workers in various fields succeed in high-demand careers, according to the ApprenticeshipUSA Website.

Questions to Ask When Hiring a Caregiver

These are the things that are important to us. And our clients also like knowing that we are here and able to help even as the older adult’s care needs change. For example, in the early stages of dementia, a family may only need a caregiver to provide respite for a couple of days a week. Then, we are often asked to increase those hours as the disease progresses and the care needs become more complex. We have the advanced training needed to adapt and grow as your loved one’s needs change and grow.

This is the kind of thing you want to think about when choosing an in-home caregiver. Does the caregiver you plan to hire have the skills to meet your loved one’s changing needs now and, in the weeks, months, and years to come?

And, be sure to ask any potential caregiver these other questions:

  • How many hours of training have you completed?
  • Was that training online or in a classroom?
  • Did that training involve hands-on demonstrations and practice?
  • Do you provide support with household chores, hygiene care and incontinence care, meal preparation, and other tasks of daily living?
  • Have you had special training in dementia care?
  • What do you do to minimize the health and safety risks of the seniors you care for?
  • What kinds of activities and engagement do you provide to your clients?

The wrong caregiver can add to your stress, but a trained and qualified caregiver can make life easier and more comfortable for both you and your loved one and help your loved one remain safely at home for as long possible.

If we can help you find a qualified caregiver to match your loved one’s needs, routine, and personal preferences and style, give us a call at 720-204-6083. We’ll provide a free, in-home assessment and answer any of your questions to ensure that you get just the right person to help you at home.

Sandi McCann is the Founder and President of HomeCare of the Rockies, a provider of non-medical caregivers to older adults throughout Boulder County. McCann is also the creator of the HomeCare 100 Professional Caregiver Training Program, an innovative educational strategy that provides advanced training to non-medical caregivers.

Sara Russell, RN, is a registered nurse, senior care specialist, and caregiver educator.

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