Caregiver Training & Certification – Where to find a training and certifcation near you

Senior care courses and certifications:

* The American Red Cross
The American Red Cross offers a Family Caregiving Program designed for those who care for the elderly, ill, or disabled at home. The program covers home safety, assisting with personal care (including bathing), healthy eating, and caring for seniors with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.

* Powerful Tools For Caregivers
A six-week course available in the community by licensed workshop leaders teaching family caregivers about stress reduction, finding resources, and more. Online version also available

* National Family Caregivers Association
An educational workshop teaching family caregivers to communicate more effectively with healthcare professionals. Workshops are currently available intermittently in the community by approved trainers. EAsy-to-access online and telephone programs available each year

* The National Association for Home Care and Hospice (NAHC)
The National Association for Home Care and Hospice offers national certification for in-home care providers. The Certification for Homemaker/Home Care Aides is awarded to care providers who demonstrate competency in training, skills demonstration, and a written exam. Visit their website for more information on NAHC’s education and certification programs.

* The National Board for Certification of Hospice & Palliative Nurses (NBCHPN)
The National Board for Certification of Hospice & Palliative Nurses offers several levels of certification, many of which require a nursing license. The Certification for Hospice and Palliative Nursing Assistants (CHPNA) does not require a nursing license, although it does require 2000 practice hours under the supervision of a registered nurse. This certification is good for four years. The CHPNA exam is offered in 50 US locations every March and September. The cost of initial certification is $180, and the cost of renewal is $155. Discounts are available for members of the Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association (HPNA). Visit their website for a candidate handbook and application.
* Know the laws

In some states, you may be required to have both licensing and insurance in order to provide senior care services. Please check with the national organizations above, the Better Business Bureau and local, state, or federal agencies to see what the minimum requirements are for establishing a senior care business in your area. Providing this licensing and insurance information up front will also increase your credibility with prospective employers.

The bottom line

According to the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, some states only require senior care providers to have on-the-job training. Other states, however, require more formal training, which may be available at local community colleges or vocational schools. The duties of senior care providers range from housekeeping to personal and medical care. Many senior care providers begin their careers by performing housekeeping duties. Then, with experience, training, and certifications, they become able to provide more personal and medical assistance.

Even the most experienced provider will benefit from education and certification. Certification will make you a more confident and credible senior care provider.

last modified 4/4/10

Last Modified April 5, 2010 @ 12:15 pm
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