Free Training Programs for San Bernardino County Caregivers Address Need for Specialized Skills on Alzheimer’s Care and Climate-Related Emergency Preparedness
Free specialized training courses are launching this January for caregivers in San Bernardino County. These multi-week, competency-based training programs are offered at no cost to the county’s In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) providers by the Center for Caregiver Advancement (CCA) through a grant from the California Workforce Development Board (CWDB) and High Road Training Partnership (HRTP).
Caregivers can enroll in one of three programs: IHSS Essentials, Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementia (ADRD), and Caregiver Resiliency / Emergency Preparedness. The sessions will be offered in English and Spanish.
The Essentials course will teach caregivers about medication safety, nutrition, assistance with activities of daily living, and communication skills. Caregivers in the ADRD course will learn how to recognize signs of Alzheimer’s, as well as how to manage symptoms such as hallucination, sundowning, and behavioral changes. The Caregiver Resiliency course will help caregivers with climate-related emergency preparedness and response and how to recover from post-disaster trauma.
Henrene Barris, an IHSS provider in San Bernardino, is looking forward to the training. “It is important for in-home caregivers to have training programs available so we can provide quality care. CCA’s curriculum is so detailed and relevant. The multi-week format allows for more interaction, more time for learning, and more knowledge to be shared,” says Barris, who helped shape the project as a member of the Advisory Committee.
In addition to providing these three programs to San Bernardino’s IHSS caregivers, CCA will conduct a randomized control trial in partnership with researchers affiliated with the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) North America at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). This will be the first RCT on IHSS training. Building on CCA’s existing research, the study will lay the foundation for policy change that will recognize worker specializations, improve worker retention, create advancement within the home care workforce, and secure long-term funding for caregiver training.
“We are excited to be a part of the first-ever randomized evaluation of training for IHSS providers. We are looking forward to studying the impacts on the workforce of caregivers who receive the training as well as the individuals who are cared for by the caregivers. The IHSS program and the innovative training provided by the Center for Caregiver Advancement represent promising models for other states around the country that are considering new programs to support in-home caregiving,” says Matt Notowidigdo, Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and Co-Scientific Director of J-PAL North America.
UC San Francisco will conduct an impact study on the Alzheimer’s program. CCA is the only organization within California utilizing an evidence-informed curriculum that has already been tested and delivered to thousands of IHSS providers in California.
“We continually push to advance the caregiving workforce through an evidence-informed approach. Our goal is to shift the narrative on the professionalization and value of the workforce. Access to training provides IHSS providers with opportunities for advancement within IHSS. The specialized training on Alzheimer’s focuses on much-needed skills critical to providing care in under-invested communities where rates of Alzheimer’s are increasing. And our Caregiver Resiliency program gives IHSS providers an increased understanding of climate change impact and the skills they need to address climate-related emergencies that impact the consumers that they serve,” says Corinne Eldridge, President and CEO.
CCA links skill development with increased wages: Caregivers will be paid their hourly wages for their time in training. Those who complete the program can earn between $700 and $1,400.
ABOUT CCA: The Center for Caregiver Advancement is the largest provider of training for caregivers in California and has trained more than 20,000 nursing home workers and in-home caregivers. Advancecaregivers.org