Caring for someone with dementia or Alzheimer’s can be challenging. Whether you’re a professional caregiver or a family caregiver, you may find yourself wondering, “Is there training for caregivers of individuals with dementia?”
Unfortunately, there’s no easy handbook that can teach you everything you need to know about how to be a caregiver for dementia. However, there are caregiver training programs and classes for professional and family caregivers.
For professional caregivers, many home care companies provide comprehensive Alzheimer’s and dementia training. If you’re a family caregiver, there are courses and classes for dementia caregivers that are available to you.
In this article, we’re sharing how professional and family caregivers can acquire the skills needed to work with dementia patients. Keep reading to learn more about how you can receive caregiver training and help today.
What is Dementia and Alzheimer’s?
In order to provide the best care for someone with dementia or Alzheimer’s, it’s valuable to understand these diseases and how they affect individuals.
Here’s more information about dementia and Alzheimer’s.
Dementia is the general term for any memory loss disorder. Experts still aren’t sure what causes or leads to dementia, but they do know it’s associated with changes in the brain.
Dementia is a progressive disease, meaning its symptoms get worse over time. The earliest signs of dementia include:
- Short-term memory loss
- Confusion in familiar places
The early stages of dementia are accompanied with slow cognitive and mental decline, but the individual still has the ability to do many life tasks independently.
However, as time progresses, dementia can start to affect motor functions. Most people with dementia eventually need assistance with:
- Bathing and dressing
- Walking and moving around
The progressive nature of dementia is what creates the greatest challenge for family caregivers.
While dementia is the umbrella term for any condition that leads to a decline in cognitive ability, Alzheimer’s is a specific type of dementia. Alzheimer’s gradually and irreversibly erases memory and cognitive ability.
Accounting for 60-80% of all dementia cases, Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia.
It’s important to learn more about Alzheimer’s so you can:
- Recognize the early signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s
- Understand the available treatments
- Best care for your loved one
Now that you know more about the specifics of dementia and Alzheimer’s, let’s look at caregiver training programs and ways family caregivers can get help caring for a loved one with dementia.
Training for Caregivers of Individuals with Dementia
Perhaps you’re a professional caregiver who’s looking for additional Alzheimer’s training. Or, maybe you’re a spouse or family member wondering if there’s Alzheimer’s and dementia training for you.
Keep reading to learn about the resources available to family caregivers. We’ll then talk about what caregiver training programs exist for professional caregivers.
1. Caregiver Training for Family Caregivers
The Alzheimer’s Association is one of the best resources for family caregivers. It has an extensive online library of blogs, videos, and training materials that can help you better understand how to be a caregiver for dementia loved ones.
Some of Alzheimer Association online resources include:
- General information to help you understand dementia and Alzheimer’s
- Classes on the early, middle, and late stages of dementia
- Courses on how to deal with Alzheimer’s for those diagnosed with the disease
- Options for care help, including in-home care
Additionally, you can find a local Alzheimer’s Association chapter and get involved. They offer support groups and training opportunities for those caring for loved ones with dementia.
2. Caregiver Training for Professional Caregivers
If you want to attend the most complete dementia training for caregivers, then Commonwise Home Care is the place to go.
At Commonwise, we developed a unique training program called Caregiver University (CU). CU is an online and in-person program that provides you with the skills needed to work with dementia patients. It’s a comprehensive course that prepares you for the roles and duties that come with being a caregiver.
We only offer this caregiver training program to Commonwise Caregivers, so your first step toward classes for dementia caregivers is to apply to work at Commonwise.
Once you’ve applied to work with us and get hired, you’ll be enrolled in CU. The CU program involves:
- A 6-8 hour online training with engaging videos, games, quizzes, and other stimulating activities that teach you technical and hospitality skills
- In-person caregiver training where you get to practice the skills you learned online
- Memory care classes to aid in providing care to individuals with dementia
Some of the major benefits of working as a Commonwise Caregiver include:
- Generous pay
- Salary increases and incentives
- Flexible work schedule
- Ongoing training and support
We highly value our caregivers and ensure they’re ready and prepared for anything that could happen on the job.
Quick Tips on How to Be a Good Caregiver for Dementia
Whether you’re a family caregiver or a professional caregiver, communication is key when caring for someone with dementia.
Here are some quick communication tips anyone looking after someone with dementia should consider:
- Keep a positive attitude and tone.
- Make sure you have their attention before communicating.
- Be clear and concise, using simple words and sentences.
- Ask easily answerable questions one at a time.
- Listen attentively and carefully.
- Break things down into small steps.
- Don’t try to prove them wrong or argue with them.
- Talk about and bring up old memories.
- Use tasteful and appropriate language and humor.
As a caregiver, your ultimate goal is to ensure the safety and well-being of the person with dementia that you’re providing care to.
Professional Caregiver Training and Help for Family Caregivers
Caring for someone with dementia or Alzheimer’s can be rewarding and fulfilling. You get to make sure the person is cared for and improve their quality of life. But there are also challenges and difficulties that can come with it.
Family caregivers looking after someone with dementia may find themselves unprepared and in need of Alzheimer’s training. The Alzheimer’s Association has many great online resources available for spouses or adult children looking after a loved one with dementia.
Professional in-home caregivers may have received some training, but it might not be extensive Alzheimer’s and dementia training. Commonwise Home Care’s Caregiver University offers caregivers the opportunity to learn, practice, and develop their dementia care skills.
At Commonwise Home Care, we’ve dedicated ourselves to three things:
- Providing exceptional in-home care to elderly adults
- Supporting family caregivers and their loved ones
- Training caregivers extensively
Our goal is to provide the best, most complete home care experience possible.
Family caregivers in need of help can contact our Care Managers. They’ll talk with you about your care situation and help you understand what your loved ones need.
Caregivers looking to grow in their careers can apply to work at Commonwise today. We’re ready to make you the best caregiver you can be.