Abcor caregivers are carefully selected using a range of criteria, included but not limited to, health screenings, background checks, reference checks and certificate verification. Once a candidate officially joins the Abcor team, he or she participates in on-going continuing education courses in order to stay on top of the dynamic and developing field.
Getting Started as a Home Caregiver
Bringing a caregiver into your home can be a major transition and it is important that at a challenging and vulnerable time, you can rest assured that you are in excellent hands. In order to ensure that, caregivers are carefully screened and selected according to all of the criteria mentioned above, and more. Then, they participate in a comprehensive 24-hour pre-service training program.
The pre-service training is completed within 10 days of hire and includes a wide range of important topics such as ethical and legal behavior, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) compliance, infection control, detecting and avoiding elder abuse and neglect, and handling medical emergencies.
Optimal candidates who have been trained continue to participate in at least 12 hours of continuous education throughout the year, every year, to keep their skills and knowledge sharp. Some of the continuing education curriculum is mandated and regulated on the State and/or Federal level, in accordance, for example, with Illinois home caregiver training mandate (Title 77, Ch. 1, Section 245.71), and some is up to other local authorities or the specific home care agency.
Some continuing education units are specific to certain medical conditions, such as dementia, for example. A dementia program might include topics such as what exactly is Alzheimer’s Disease, the importance of early diagnosis, warning signs of disease onset to be on the lookout for, financial and legal issues specific to dementia cases, resources for coping, practical tips for effective communication with dementia patients and their families, and more.
Other continuing education units are more general, reviewing and expanding on topics introduced at the initial intensive training, such as fall prevention, disaster procedures, nutritional needs in various cases and guidelines, food preparation in accordance with these needs, improving communication skills, and developing cultural competence. These educational units, of course, benefit the caregiver in all aspects of his or life, not only on the job. Other courses focus on client independence, therapeutic communication, or even responding to weather emergencies and natural disasters, which uniquely affect those in need of home care.
The Benefits of On-Going Education for Home Caregivers
Being a home caregiver is an opportunity to play a vital role in people’s lives, as well as to develop and improve yourself. The opportunity for continuing education keeps caregivers up to date with the latest advances and procedures in the field, keeps their knowledge fresh and skills sharp, and gives them a chance to meet one another and exchange tips and experiences. As a patient or the family of a patient, continuing education means your caregiver is invested in this important role and providing your loved one with the very best support possible.