By Cecily O’Conner
(Reprinted in its entirety.)
A dozen community colleges have received grants to develop or expand much-needed, in-home caregiver training programs.
The $25,000 grants are intended to help address a shrinking pool of paid family caregivers at a time when many boomers are finding it difficult to secure affordable, quality in-home care for elders.
Community colleges are seen as an ideal breeding ground for producing caregivers, said Sibyl Jacobson, president of MetLife Foundation, which provided money. They “are uniquely positioned to help recruit, train and provide personal and professional development opportunities for caregivers,” she said.
The initiative is expected to produce programs that can serve as models for other colleges interested in providing training, Jacobson added. The winning colleges are emphasizing eldercare needs ranging from bilingual training to advanced certificate programs focused on certain diseases such as Alzheimer’s.
The grants are being awarded through the Community College Caregiver Training Initiative of the International Longevity Center-USA’s (ILC-USA) Caregiving Project for Older Americans, which is supported by MetLife. This is the second year such funding has been awarded.
The winners are:
Brookhaven College of Farmers Branch, Texas, will launch two new training programs: home health care and hospice aide and the family caregiver, which provides training on best practices and practical solutions for home-based caregivers that can be learned quickly.
Capital Community College of Hartford, Conn., is going to introduce a new program in its division of continuing education’s health professions institute. That group will, in turn, work closely with the Connecticut Department of Veterans Affairs to identify trainees and volunteers to provide home care to veterans in Hartford County.
Cincinnati State Technical and Community College in Ohio will offer home health aide training to help make students eligible to sit for the state’s nurse aid training exam.
GateWay Community College in Phoenix will expand its recruitment efforts and offer bilingual components to meet the needs of the state’s large Hispanic population.
Harford Community College in Bel Air, Md., will create an in-home aide training program, as well as offer a conference on caregiving and end-of-life issues, in collaboration with local hospitals, hospice organizations and health care nonprofits.
Johnson County Community College in Overland Park, Kan., will offer the advanced dementia care certificate program to train family caregivers and in-home workers on long-term home care services to older adults with cognitive deficits due to Alzheimer’s, dementia or stroke.
Kapiolani Community College in Honolulu is going to expand its gerontology program by creating an entry level paraprofessional training, offered through the Kupana (Elder) Education Center, the first and only community-college based gerontology center in Hawaii.
Madison Area Technical College in Madison, Wisc., plans to introduce the REACH project, expanding the college’s certified nursing assistant program by introducing homecare content into the existing certificate program and creating a new two-day workshop for family home caregivers.
Union County College in Cranford, NJ, will introduce an eldercare initiative that provides technical training, job-related basic education, job development, educational assessment and counseling to job seekers, incumbent works and volunteer caregivers, with a focus on attracting those who might not traditionally see eldercare as a career option.
Southeastern Community College in Whiteville, NC, plans to enhance its in-home aide and certificated nursing assistant programs to include home-based care training. Additionally, a resource library and workshops on home-based care will be offered to family caregivers each month.
Southwestern Oregon Community College in Coos Bay, Ore., will launch an initiative designed to fill critical gaps in caregiver training, including a “train-the-trainers” component and scholarships for low-income family caregivers.
Tulsa Community College in Oklahoma will implement a certified home health aide program as an addition to its existing certified nurse aide program. The college will also offer caregiver basics training to family caregivers.