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Staff Training and Education

Supporting aging in place program staff through training and education is critical to the successful implementation of any program. It is helpful to have staff with education, skills, or qualities that are specific to the program and target population needs. It is also helpful to have enough staff to provide services to the aging in place population.

The continuing long-term care workforce shortage makes finding staff to assist older adults in their homes difficult. To address this issue, organizations may need to create caregiving career ladders via apprenticeship programs and other tools for on-the-job training. Also, promoting caregiving careers to students while still in high school and providing grants and other funding sources to help cover training costs is important to supporting the workforce pipeline.

Training is the one of the first opportunities that an organization has to create a strong, positive staff environment. Training topics for staff that visit older adults who are aging in place in a home setting can include:

  • Communicating the needs of those seeking to age in place
  • Training volunteers and staff on conducting home evaluations and assessing the need for home modifications
  • Using technologies that can help extend the impact of the caregiving workforce
  • Helping patients with realistic goal setting for health improvement
  • Demonstrating cultural competency
  • Addressing social determinants of health

For more information about education and training for rural aging in place staff, visit the Rural Health Information Hub's Education and Training of the Rural Healthcare Workforce topic guide.

Resources to Learn More

12 Steps for Creating a Culture of Retention: A Workbook for Home and Community-Based Long-Term Care Providers
Document
Workbook offers 12 steps to guide agencies in developing excellent recruitment, selection and retention practices necessary to manage long-term care organizations.
Organization(s): Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute (PHI)
Date: 8/2008

Strengthening the Direct Service Workforce in Rural Areas
Document
Discusses direct service-related strategies that other states and rural agencies have implemented to overcome quality long-term supports and services challenges.
Author(s): Brown, D.K., Lash, S., Wright, B., Tomisek, A.
Organization(s): Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
Date: 8/2011