Friday, August 9, 2013

Contrary to the Recent Life & Death in Assisted Living Frontline Story, IPCed & myCNAjobs report a welcome uptick in higher quality staffing and training for assisted living

The final segment in an ongoing, four-part PBS/Frontline  “Life and Death in Assisted Living,” examined residents in assisted living communities around the country, questioning whether the communities are equipped to provide the care needed.

In light of the coverage, my friend, Brandi Kurtyka, CEO of  myCNAjobs, and I decided to publicly extend a voice of confidence to families considering care for a loved one within assisted living.

From my perspective, there’s no question that lack of training and understaffing has been an issue for many senior care communities from nursing homes to assisted living.  However, families need to know that many assisted living communities are dedicated to building and maintaining a quality team of caregivers.

With more than three quarters of a million individuals choosing assisted living across the United States, more communities are taking note and implementing increasingly rigorous caregiver hiring standards, onboarding, caregiver training and ongoing mentorship. 

“Both Sharon and I have seen an increased awareness and more importantly - action plans - being implemented to go above and beyond state compliance requirements,” says Brandi. “Although the industry is plagued with stories like the recent PBS episode, it’s refreshing to see many communities going above the call of duty.”

Families are encouraged to do deep due diligence when evaluating assisted living.

Brandi and I both recommend families always ask about training.  We suggest that you ask how they train the caregiving team and if they offer training that exceeds the state requirements.

Often, state requirements simply cover the basics of care.  An organization that is dedicated to building a quality team of caregivers will offer additional training opportunities using engaging online courses and certification programs.

Ask if caregivers are certified as CNAs, home health aides or personal care aides. In memory care units, ask about Dementia Care certification or advanced level training.  Certification may not be required but does offer evidence of the company’s commitment to quality training and the quality care it yields.