With the significant rise of the number of those aging in place, a national standard must be set to improve quality of life, improve engagement skills and reduce re-admittance to hospitals due to certain incidents which could be prevented with effective communication with the individual.
The educational requirements for Home Care Agencies and their caregiving staff vary from State to State and, until now, there has been no nationally-recognized certification from an accredited third-party agency.
As the only national, independent Standards and Certification body for Quality of Life, Activities and Engagement Certifications in both Long Term Care and Home Care settings recognized by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), NCCAP Home Care Certification has now established standards and certifications to ensure continuity of care and approach focusing on the following areas:
- Person- Centered Care – The individual being served
- Non-verbal and verbal communication skills
- The benefits of engaging and being active
- Reducing cost of care through engagement and activities
- Best practices for engaging a person with dementia
- Interventions to utilize for aggressive behavior
- Social assessment and lesson plans
- Planning and executing activities
National Standardization and Certification Drive
On September 1, 2017, NCCAP is launching a national standardization and certification campaign for the Home Care industry to address the growing needs of those aging in place with and without dementia, and to address the basic lack of standard education for the growing number professional caregivers who care for them.
To assist with this effort, NCCAP is working with Caregiving 101 to manage the online learning experience for individuals and Home Care Agencies that take the Activities 101 Complete course at NCCAP University. Since 2010, Caregiving 101 has trained thousands of family and agency caregivers, delivered tens of thousands of caregiving “How To” books in multiple countries and worked with various State Governments, Universities and nonprofit agencies to provide programs to train the unemployed and other interested individuals to become caregivers.
For this initial effort, NCCAP has approved a program which allows an individual to complete the required Activities 101 Complete course and apply for the Home Care Certification (HCC) for only $30 from September 1, 2017 through August 31, 2018.
Requirements for Home Care Certification and Specialization In Memory Care
The Home Care Certification (HCC) can be applied for by visiting NCCAP University and:
- Successfully completing the Activities 101 Complete Course
- Submitting proof of 20 hours of additional continuing education courses which meet NCCAP standards from the NCCAP Body of Knowledge
- Submitting proof of 6 months (1000 hours) of work experience in the Home Care Field
- Submitting proof of a High School Diploma or GED
The Specialization in Memory Care (MC) credential can be applied for by visiting NCCAP University and:
- Submitting proof of 10 hours of dementia and/or memory care training which meet NCCAP standards from the NCCAP Body of Knowledge
Benefit to Agencies that Employ Home Care Certified Caregivers
- Higher staff retention rates and reduced recruitment and administration costs
The educational requirement of a Home Care Certification establishes a baseline of knowledge for caregivers. With improved knowledge and skill sets, their day-to-day jobs as caregivers and personal care aides can become less stressful and more enjoyable, thereby increasing the quality of the work atmosphere and satisfaction with their position. This can lead to greater employee retention rates, stability in your workforce and reduced costs for the agency.
- Higher client retention rates and increased work hours
The increased knowledge and skill sets offer a Home Care Certified Caregiver the opportunity to improve the daily quality of life of an elderly client while decreasing the opportunities for accidents and potentially dangerous situations that could require a client to move from home to a Long Term Care facility. For example, by properly engaging a client in discussions or activities, the caregiver can prevent the boredom and depression that can lead to a dangerous behavioral outburst or aimless wandering where the individual may risk falling and hurting themselves.
- Continuity of Care and improved transitions for Clients
Because the educational components for a Home Care Certification were developed using the same criteria and standards for training and educational requirements for Long Term Care facility staff members, Home Care Certified Caregivers can help ensure continuity of care and approach as a person eventually moves from Home Care to institutional care. The documentation and background information Home Care Caregivers are taught to gather can also reduce paperwork and intake costs for Long Term Care communities while providing much needed information to make a senior feel comfortable in a new home.
Benefits of Home Care Certification to State and Federal Agencies
- Reduced cost of care and reduced re-admittance to hospitals
The cost of caring for an individual aging or rehabbing in place is significantly less than the cost than aging or rehabbing in a skilled nursing facility. A Home Care Certified caregiver has the educational foundation to communicate and engage an elderly individual Aging in Place. Proper communication is a preventative tool which the Caregiver can use to identify issues affecting the individual. This can lead to a reduction in accidents, incidents and behavioral outbursts which may require medical attention.
- National Standard and Educational Programming addressing the growing dementia crisis
Best practices for engaging a person with dementia and Interventions to utilize for aggressive behavior are a part of the Home Care Certification (HCC) educational curriculum. In addition, an individual with an HCC can also earn a Specialization in Memory Care (MC) credential with additional courses from the NCCAP approved Body of Knowledge. These two items establish an educational baseline and national standard which millions of agency and family caregivers can utilize and build on to meet the needs of the growing number of those aging in place with dementia. Meeting those needs at home is considerably less expensive to State and Federal government agencies than having to meet the needs of the same individual in an institutional setting. A Home Care Certified caregiver can also reduce the costs of care to county governments and local hospital systems. A Home Care Certified individual has the educational foundation to communicate and engage an elderly individual aging in place. Proper communication is a preventative tool which the caregiver can use to identify issues affecting the individual. This can lead to a reduction in accidents, incidents and behavioral outbursts which may require medical attention, a call to 911 and a visit from EMS.
Benefit of Home Care Certification to families and seniors
- A Home Care Certified Caregiver provides peace of mind to the families of current and prospective elderly clients that their Caregiver has met the rigorous educational standards to become NCCAP Certified. That foundation offers families and their loved one the opportunity for a higher quality of life through engagement and better caregiving.
- A Home Care Certified Caregiver can offer family members insight on how to communicate with their loved one with dementia, best practices on engaging a person with dementia and interventions to utilize for aggressive behaviors. They can also work with families to ensure continuity of approach and care among all individuals who come in contact with the senior being cared for.