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5 Best Family Caregiver Training Programs

Caring for a loved one is a journey with both love and challenges, and is often done because of a deep sense of commitment. When stepping into the role of family caregiver, you embark on a path that requires patience, knowledge, and the right resources to provide the best care possible. Recognizing the importance of this role, it's crucial to highlight the significance of family caregiver training programs. These programs equip caregivers with the skills and understanding necessary to guarantee the safety, comfort, and well-being of their elderly loved ones.

In this article, we'll explore:

  • Why it's important to get training
  • 5 family caregiver training programs
  • How to choose the right program for you

We've got a lot to talk about so let's get going!

Why Is It Important To Get Quality Training as a Family Caregiver?

When it comes to caregiving, knowledge is power. Proper training empowers family caregivers to provide effective, compassionate care. This reduces the risk of injury and enhancing the quality of life for both the caregiver and the elderly loved one. Training programs cover a wide range of topics, including but not limited to,

  • Understanding common health conditions
  • Mastering caregiving techniques
  • Managing medication
  • Navigating the emotional complexities of caregiving

Furthermore, these programs offer invaluable support networks, connecting caregivers with peers facing similar challenges. Let's get into some of the ones we love the most!

1. Higher Standards Caregiver Training

This comprehensive program is taught in bite-sized chunks by Emilia Bourland, OTR, ECHM, an occupational therapist with decades of experience and also trains professional caregivers. The course is available on-demand online. This helps you do on-time learning (which is my favorite) so that you learn the skill when you need it and not when you happen to access the education. The courses cover all aspects of caregiving, from basic skills to specialized care for conditions such as Parkinson's and dementia. The curriculum is tailored to meet the needs of family caregivers, providing you with practical tools and strategies to enhance your caregiving capabilities. It's also really affordable. $2.99/month gets you access to the over 20 in-depth courses you can learn from.

 2.The Family Caregiver Alliance

Focused on supporting family caregivers, this organization offers a variety of free resources. This includes online classes and topical articles covering topics such as stress management, legal and financial planning, and health care navigation. The Alliance emphasizes the importance of caregiver well-being, offering strategies to balance the demands of caregiving with personal health and happiness.

 3.AARP Caregiving How-To Series

 AARP provides a series of free online courses tailored to family caregivers. These courses cover essential topics, including preparing your home for caregiving, understanding your loved one's needs, and communicating effectively with healthcare providers. The How-To Series is designed to be accessible and practical, making it an excellent resource for caregivers at any stage of their journey.

 4.Alzheimer's Association Caregiver Training

 Specializing in care for individuals with Alzheimer's and other dementias, this program offers a range of online courses and in-person workshops. Topics include understanding the disease, managing behavior changes, and creating a supportive environment. This training is invaluable for caregivers looking to deepen their understanding of dementia and learn effective strategies for daily care.

 5.National Family Caregivers Association Summit

 Offering workshops across the country, the NFCA focuses on the practical and emotional aspects of caregiving. Recently they created a 100% free and on-demand summit that way you can watch when you are ready. Sessions cover topics such as navigating the healthcare system, advocating for your loved one, and dealing with caregiver burnout. And if you happen to do a live workshop, it can provide a supportive environment for caregivers to learn and share experiences.

Choosing the Right Program

Selecting the right training program depends on your specific needs, the condition of your senior family member, and your available time commitment. Consider programs that offer flexibility, address the specific challenges you face, and provide ongoing support. Remember, the right training can make a significant difference in your caregiving experience, offering both you and your loved one a better quality of life.

And if you are interested in learning while you are busy doing caregiving, consider listening to the CareLab Podcast. Emilia and I post a new episode each week about a topic that's helpful to family caregivers. I'd highly recommend our episode with Christopher MacClellan, founder of The Whole Care Network - another really awesome resource for family caregivers.

Need Help? AskSAMIE!

In conclusion, family caregiver training is a critical step in protecting the well-being of both caregivers and their elderly loved ones. By choosing the right program and investing in your caregiving skills, you can provide compassionate, effective care that makes a real difference. If you're looking for personalized advice or resources, don't hesitate to reach out to AskSAMIE. Together, we can navigate the challenges of caregiving and find the support you need to thrive.

Remember, sharing this article with others who might find it helpful can extend the reach of these valuable resources, making a positive impact on the lives of caregivers and their families.

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Brandy Archie, OTD, OTR/L, CLIPP

Dr. Archie received her doctorate in occupational therapy from Creighton University. She is a certified Living in Place Professional with past certifications in low vision therapy, brain injury and driving rehabilitation.  Dr. Archie has over 15 years of experience in home health and elder focused practice settings which led her to start AskSAMIE, a curated marketplace to make aging in place possible for anyone, anywhere! Answer some questions about the problems the person is having and then a personalized cart of adaptive equipment and resources is provided.

She's a wife, mother of 3 and a die-hard Kansas City Chiefs fan! Connect with her on Linked In or by email anytime.

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