Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Families need caregiver training to add skills to loving care

Caregiver training is the number one topic of conversation in our office lately. We initially developed our Caregiver Certification course for people working for in-home care agencies. In-home care is one of the fastest growing segments of all senior care, and our own division of in-home care is growing at a phenomenal pace.

We’ve also been hearing stories from individuals all over the world, seeking training to become experts in caregiving.

One school in Fiji is now using our online course to train students to become caregivers throughout the islands.

Today, I responded to a woman in Mumbai, India regarding this training. She cared for her own mother through the stages of Alzheimer’s disease, and realized that she didn’t have the knowledge and skills to provide good care. At one point, she says, “I could not take it anymore.”

As she searched for answers, she says, “It then dawned on me that I was basically giving in to the situation and giving up on her.” She determined to learn as much as she could about caregiving, and found approaches that have really helped her mom. Now she wants to help others with similar diseases, but knows that she is not fully prepared for this.

We hear stories nearly every day from family members who are realizing the same thing: they want to provide care, but they’re not trained or prepared to do it well.

Family members provide somewhere between 70 and 80 percent of all care to seniors in this country. Most are caring with their hearts; many realize they need more skills training, too.

For families – and professionals – training can add essential knowledge and skills to a caring, compassionate heart.

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