Offering Training in Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care Will Make Your Agency Shine!

Author imageStacey Tavarez
Home Care Office Staff Hiring Tips

The Alzheimer’s Association has declared June Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month. It’s a perfect time to open the conversation about the need for caregiver training in Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.

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The Alzheimer’s Association has declared June Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month. It’s a perfect time to open the conversation about the need for caregiver training in Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. 

Based on updated calculations by the Alzheimer’s Association, an estimated 6.2 million Americans age 65 and older are living with Alzheimer’s or dementia in 2021. By 2060, this number will increase to 15 million. 

Today, almost one in three home care clients have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or dementia, and 44% of caregivers report that they care for at least one client with Alzheimer’s disease. Yet, sadly, many clients, their families, and professional caregivers are left to “white-knuckle” it through the home care journey with little training or support.  

Is training required?

At this time, federal training standards do not mandate Alzheimer’s or dementia training for home care workers, and only 13 states currently have dementia-specific training requirements. Thankfully, that hasn’t stopped many home care heroes from facing this urgent crisis head-on by going above and beyond the meager requirements and providing specialized Alzheimer’s and dementia training to the caregivers on their teams. 

Why is training in Alzheimer’s and dementia so urgent?

Alzheimer’s disease is an irreversible, progressive brain disorder that slowly destroys memory, thinking skills, and eventually, the ability to carry out the simplest tasks. That means a person living with Alzheimer’s or dementia will slowly but surely, experience changes in the ability to remain independent.  

The changes can be frightening, confusing, and even frustrating to clients, their families, and the professional caregivers in their homes. However, caregivers who understand the unique needs of individuals living with Alzheimer’s at all the different stages of the disease can help alleviate the fear, confusion, and frustration as it arises.  

Research shows that a lack of proper training can lead to a more challenging situation for the worker, the client, and the family. We asked thousands of caregivers to tell us the most significant challenges they face when caring for clients living with Alzheimer’s and dementia. Here’s what they told us: 

the caregivers voice

The Next Step

So now, you know you need to offer training in Alzheimer’s and dementia – and you know why. But, how do you structure an Alzheimer’s and Dementia Training Program?

OPTION 1 – Create In-House Training: If you have a clinician on your team who has experience caring for individuals living with Alzheimer’s or dementia and who is also a talented researcher, writer, and educator, you might consider creating your own training.

Here are the topics we recommend you include in your training:

  • The progression of the disease

  • The physical, emotional, and behavioral impact of the disease

  • How to promote safety

  • How to prevent falls

  • Effective communication techniques, especially in later stages

  • Guidance on providing person-centered dementia care

OPTION 2 – Subscribe to a training vendor like Home Care PulseThe Alzheimer’s Association recognizes our Alzheimer’s training because it aligns with their evidence-based Dementia Care Practice Recommendations. The Association’s recommendations for quality care are based on a comprehensive review of current evidence, best practices, and expert opinion. 

The Alzheimer’s Association has recognized the following courses in our library: 

  • All about Alzheimer’s and Dementia 

  • Activities for Individuals Living with Alzheimer’s Disease 

  • Mealtime with Alzheimer’s & Dementia 

  • Communicating with Individuals Living with Alzheimer’s and Dementia 

  • Safe Environments for People Living with Dementia & Alzheimer’s Disease 

  • Supporting and Guiding Individuals through Dementia-Related Behaviors 

  • Preventing Elopement 

Agencies that subscribe to our eLearning portal gain unlimited access to individual courses and a complete Alzheimer’s and Dementia Learning Path. Caregivers who complete the entire learning path receive an Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care Specialist certificate.  

Imagine the marketing potential!

Organizations that utilize our training are encouraged to mention the Alzheimer’s Association recognition when referencing the training program in internal and external communications. 

Want to learn more? Get more info and request a demo today! 

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