Caregiving Certification From CertifiedCare.org Addresses Caregivers’ Questions

CertifiedCare.orgAs the nation welcomes a growing aging population, more people are taking on the role of caregiver and, with it, the challenges that being a caregiver brings. Fortunately, online certification programs, such as the one offered by CertifiedCare.org, are helping bridge the knowledge gap to ensure that seniors are taken care of in their later years.

“Increasingly, people are understanding that elder caregiving is not easy, nor is it for the uninformed,” says Cathleen Carr, executive director of CertifiedCare.org, a nonprofit caregiver organization and registered charity.

“The elderly have needs which are unique to the aged and not familiar to the average person, even those who have reared children,” she says.

To address the growing need for caregiving education, Carr offers certification programs designed for both the family caregiver and personal care aide. The 40-hour basic caregiving program covers a gamut of caregiving issues, including material that specifically addresses the needs of people who use wheelchairs or who are confined to a bed. The basic course is a prerequisite for the two advanced certification programs, which include a 40-hour health and safety program (also addressing mobility issues) and a 20-hour legal and financial program.

In addition, CertifiedCare.org offers a 20-hour Alzheimer’s/dementia specialist certification program for those intending to be the primary caregiver for a person with either disease. Participants must take and pass the test for both advanced certification programs to enroll in the Alzheimer’s/dementia certification program.

In the health and safety course, participants learn about managing medications, diets and mobility; recognizing symptoms of illnesses, constipation and incontinence; alleviating anxiety and depression; and preparing for death and dying. The legal and financial course reviews advanced directives, fiduciary duties, bill paying, record keeping and financial planning for long-term care needs.

The programs are based on American Medical Association guidelines for home caregiving, which sets CertifiedCare.org apart from other online certification programs. In addition, the certification programs are being modified to fit the trending of national legislative requirements, which is expected to be effective in March 2012.

“We offer information not generally included in programs of these kinds, and each program is written by a degreed and licensed professional,” Carr says.

The online format also enables caregivers who have limited time to work at their own pace at home.

Caregivers who cannot commit to one of the certification programs can read CertifiedCare.org's blog.

“Do not underestimate the endless demands put upon a caregiver,” advises Carr. “Remain mindful of taking care of yourself, and do not be afraid to ask for help.”

To become a certified caregiver, visit CertifiedCare.org or e-mail Carr.