Commonwise has gone to extraordinary lengths to ensure we exceed Covid safety standards for our clients and caregivers.
Learn more here about our Covid response and protocols. With Commonwise, home remains the safest place for older adults receiving care.

The 4 Most Important Things to Look for in Caregiver Training Programs

woman taking online caregiver training course

Written by:

Jeffrey Grossman


May 24, 2021

Are you looking for a live-in caregiver training course or caregiver training university in Richmond, Charlottesville, or Charleston?

Most people may not realize that most caregiver training programs don’t require any previous experiences or certifications. They’re readily available to anyone with a compassionate heart and desire to provide seniors with a higher quality of life.

Are you a caring, compassionate individual?

Do you have a passion for helping and serving elderly adults?

Have you thought about taking an in-home caregiver training course?

Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about in-home caregiving, the marks of a good training course, and how to find the best home care training programs


What is a Caregiver?

An in-home caregiver is an individual who knows and understands the daily living needs of elderly adults. They enter into the client’s home to provide an extra set of hands with activities of daily living, companionship services, or advanced care needs. 

Often, caregivers are people who are:

  • Compassionate
  • Personable
  • Communicative
  • Patient

This isn’t an exhaustive list, however, and a lack of any of these qualities doesn’t disqualify you from becoming a caregiver. Ultimately, a caregiver is someone who sees elderly adults as human beings and treats them with compassion.


What Does an In-home Caregiver Do?

A caregiver’s primary responsibility is to provide the necessary care and assistance aging adults need to live independently.

They’re trained in hands-on hard skills and soft skills (hospitality skills) to provide increased quality of life to aging seniors. 


Caregiver Hard Skills

Hard skills are the practical skills used to deliver hands-on care to elderly adults. They usually involve helping with daily life tasks.

Every aging adults’ needs will be slightly different, but some examples of hard skills include:

  • Assisting with transfers and ambulation
  • Bathing and personal hygiene
  • Dressing and grooming
  • Transporting a client to and from appointments
  • Preparing meals or feeding

Caregiver Soft Skills

In-home hospitality skills involve having high emotional intelligence and understanding how to make a client feel comfortable. Some examples of soft skills are:

  • Asking the client if they want to control the temperature or radio in the car
  • Taking the scenic route home from an appointment
  • Leaving plenty of time to get to events or appointments

When a caregiver has both hard and soft skills, they can handle the caregiver role better. 

Unfortunately, many caregiver training programs teach hard skills but overlook the hospitality skills. The best home caregiver training involves teaching both sets of skills.


The 4 Marks of a Good In-home Caregiver Training Program

Not all live-in caregiver training courses and in-home caregiver programs are the same. Before taking a home care training program, it’s best to know what a top-level in-home caregiver training should include. 

Below we’ve listed the top four marks to look for in a high-quality caregiver program.


1. Hard and Soft Skills Training

Earlier, we mentioned that the best caregivers possess both hard and soft skills. If you want to be a great caregiver, it involves learning and growing in both sets of skills. A premier caregiver university will provide the opportunity to learn hard and hospitality skills. 

The best caregiver training programs will give you opportunities to train in hands-on skills to grow in competency. They’ll also model and coach you in soft skills to help you become a complete caregiver.

Look for a senior care training program that promotes growth in hard and soft skills.


2. Practical Training 

Piggybacking on number one, you want a training course that teaches you what you need to know about caregiving. 

Most people don’t realize that you don’t need any special certifications or degrees to become a great caregiver. You can get official caregiving certifications, but they may not give you the comprehensive training required to best assist the elderly.

Top caregiver training programs utilize experienced home care professionals who know and understand eldercare. They provide expert insight, tips, and feedback as you hone your skills. Instead of learning general skills or knowledge, you’ll learn the practical skills needed to provide quality care to every client.


3. Online and In-person Training

Another valuable characteristic of good home care training is a variety of training modalities. A combination of online and in-person training can help drive retention and competency.

Online Caregiver Training

Online training allows you to work at your own pace. It provides a medium for quick bullets, short videos, comprehension quizzes, and role-playing scenarios. With online training, you can also go back and review sections that were more difficult to understand.

In-person Caregiver Training

In-person training provides the opportunity to put the knowledge you learned online into practice. As experienced coaches walk you through scenarios and training content, you can gain greater clarification and receive valuable feedback. Your trainer can also give you insight into your strengths and growth areas.

A combination of online and in-person training helps you connect with the content and learn it most effectively.


4. On-going Training and Support

Once you finish a caregiver training course, it’s beneficial to know that you’ll receive ongoing training and support. It’s valuable to have opportunities to further your understanding or become more comfortable with specific areas of caregiving.

On-going training keeps you up to date with the latest techniques. It provides you with the ability to grow and develop in your career instead of stagnating or becoming bored.

Some days will be difficult, and on-the-job situations will arise that you aren’t entirely sure how to handle. Continued support gives you access to tools and resources as you encounter difficulties. 

Any home care company that truly desires to provide exceptional elderly care will first care for their caregivers through ongoing training and support. 


The Best Caregiver Training University

Caregiving is a rewarding career that provides aging seniors with the ability to live independently and age at home. Often, caregivers possess traits like patience and compassion. 

However, there are no certifications or degrees needed to begin a caregiving career. Most in-home care companies offer some in-house training, but many only focus on hard skills and overlook soft skills.

The best caregiver training programs provide:

  • Comprehensive hard and soft skills training
  • Practical skills training
  • Online and in-person training
  • On-going training and support

How do we know that these four traits make up an excellent in-home care training course?

At Commonwise Home Care, we have extensive experience with home care, so we know the skills caregivers need to succeed. Our one-of-a-kind caregiver training program, called Caregiver University, teaches caregivers all the necessary hard and soft skills. We only offer this training to caregivers who work for us, so you’ll need to apply to work with us before attending the training. Because of our unique training, we offer higher pay than other agencies and provide opportunities for salary increases.

Check out our job openings and apply today. We’re excited to help you discover your passion for caregiving.