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Training those who care for seniors

Caregivers in west-central Illinois now have access to a unique, hands-on training experience.

Home Instead, which provides in-home, non-medical care for senior citizens, has developed a “training home” at its Jacksonville office at 1440 W. Walnut St.

“The driving purpose behind this program is to give caregivers hands-on learning opportunities in order to prepare them to be professionals in the home care industry,” said Gina Hayes, vice president and general manager of the Home Instead franchise with offices in Jacksonville, Jerseyville and Litchfield.

Home Instead’s training home has a fully functioning kitchen, hospital bed, lift chair, wheelchair, walkers, canes and Hoyer lift. In addition, the training home includes five different types of flooring.

“We wanted to replicate as many different surfaces and scenarios that caregivers may face when going into our seniors’ homes,” Hayes said. “Our focus is to prepare them for any potential safety or maintenance issues.”

Hayes, who designed the training home, also incorporated blackboards in the room “to promote learning, development and critical thinking skills during the course of their training.”

As an example, caregivers will use the blackboards to identify staged safety hazards in the room.

Becky Hatlee, business development manager for Home Instead, said the training home is key to Home Instead’s success.

“Our clients understandably have the expectation that their care is going to be provided by professionals,” Hatlee said. “We feel that our training home prepares caregivers to meet those clients’ expectations.”

Home Instead’s Jacksonville, Jerseyville and Litchfield offices employ 130 caregivers and serve about 140 clients in 13 counties, from Cass County in the north to Bond County in the south and from Fayette County in the east to Calhoun County in the west.

“We have a diverse set of caregivers, some of whom have an extensive medical background and others who have come to us with no experience at all,” Hayes said. “Regardless of their professional backgrounds, most of our caregivers have provided care for their loved ones.”

The landscape of the health care field is changing rapidly, according to Hatlee.

She said that medical professionals now rely on home care agencies such as Home Instead to provide services for senior citizen patients so they can return home safely and have the best outcome possible.

“With the rise in the number of seniors who need in-home care, it is understandable that the demand for caregivers is also on the rise,” Hatlee said. “We are doing everything we can to equip our communities with professional caregivers who can meet that demand.”

By Greg Olson

[email protected]

Greg Olson can be reached at 217-245-6121, ext. 1224, or on Twitter @JCNews_Greg.

Greg Olson can be reached at 217-245-6121, ext. 1224, or on Twitter @JCNews_Greg.

Article source: http://myjournalcourier.com/news/110052/training-those-who-care-for-seniors

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