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Healthcare Teachers, Welcome to Elder Care Certificate

Anyone who cares for or interacts with older adults will find the Elder Care Certificate program a wealth of information about issues facing our aging population. This program will transform the way students work with elders and enhance their status as caring individuals.

The curriculum is led by teachers who are certified by ImpactDS Consulting. Certified teachers will guide their students to:

  • gain expertise in dealing with the aging population,
  • gain a better understanding of the challenges seniors face, and
  • will be better equipped with the interpersonal tools to function as contributing members of a team.
Talk to Anne or Myra today to arrange for a personalized discussion of how we can bring Elder Care Certificate training to your school.
Fill out the Contact Us form below or
Background of the Elder Care Certificate Program

The Elder Care Certificate program came to life because of in-depth group discussions with the leaders in long-term care. These sessions were led by Myra Wilson and Anne Johnson while they were employed by The Ohio State University. Those leaders included CEOs and human resources executives of senior living communities, LeadingAge Ohio, Ohio Department of Education (ODE), OSU Office of Gerontology, Ohio State University Extension faculty, and others.

According to Kathryn Brod, retired CEO of LeadingAge Ohio, “The leaders identified talent development as a critical concern, not only with the clinical staff but also with the non-clinical personnel." Myra and Anne then conducted surveys of long-term care professionals to determine the desired behaviors that are most critical to serving elders, especially in structured environments such as senior living communities and home health. With the assistance of instructional designers Lynn Geist and Dyan Ellinger and funding by OSU CARES, the team created the customized curriculum and piloted the Elder Care Certificate program as a research project. The results were very successful, and the four employers who sent participants to the pilot program wanted all of their employees trained.

LeadingAge Ohio has endorsed the program throughout the state. LeadingAge Ohio is a nonprofit trade association that represents approximately 400 long-term care organizations and hospices, as well as those providing ancillary health care and housing services, in more than 150 Ohio towns and cities. The continuum of care reflected by the member organizations serve an estimated 400,000 elderly Ohioans annually and employ more than 35,000 persons statewide.

The vision for the Elder Care Certificate program, as established by the group of pilot participants who are employed in Ohio’s long-term services and supports industry, is:

“To continue to promote a caring and respectful workforce that will demonstrate integrity and teamwork with open communication.”

The Significance of The Tree Graphic

The symbol of the tree with visible roots is being used to identify and brand the Elder Care Certificate program for several reasons. Feeling and logical thought were put into its development.

It should be noted that this program is foundational and intended to be built upon over time. The roots symbolize grounding – the basis of the curriculum. The trunk depicts history and stability, representing our connection with elders who have built the world we live in. In addition, it depicts the years of inquiry and discussion with leaders who provide services and support to the long-term care industry about the knowledge, skills and behaviors most desired in those who serve senior citizens.

Supported by the roots and trunk, the branches are far reaching, growing toward the boundless sky – in the same way that the potential for the Elder Care Certificate program will have far-reaching impact on the caring for elders. The fullness of the tree with its branches going in different directions symbolizes teamwork and open communication, expanding beyond the walls of long-term care facilities and into homes, restaurants, schools, libraries, theatres, and any places where senior citizens are greeted, cared for or served.

Finally, the individual leaves represent each person who interacts with and enriches the lives of elders in our society today.

Learning Outcomes for the Elder Care Certificate Program

As a result of this program, trainers will guide the learners to:

  • Identify basic characteristics and implications of aging.

  • Respond appropriately to ethical dilemmas.

  • Describe and practice the “caring presence” communication approach.

  • Define critical thinking and describe its benefits to working with older adults.

  • Describe the skills necessary for excellent customer service.

Student Success

To successfully fulfill the requirements of the Elder Care Certificate program, students must complete the following:

  • Attend all five modules, 

  • Complete homework assignments,

  • Receive a minimum score of 80% on Final Exam Part 1 proctored exam, and

  • Complete Final Exam Part 2, the Elder Care Project assignment.

Curriculum - 16 hours plus 4 hours for project

Module 1 – Caregiving: The Aging Experience (3 hours)

Students will learn about the physical, mental and emotional effects of aging as well as other issues that can be of great concern to elder friends, family, or clients. Students will also experience a simulation of the challenges faced by older adults.

Module 2 – Caregiving: Discovering My Value (3 hours)

This module will introduce professional caregiving and explore the importance of individual values, having a positive work ethic, reducing stress and setting goals to develop a personal action plan.

Module 3 – Caregiving: Walking in Another’s Shoes (3 hours)

This module will introduce “caring presence.” Students will learn the communication essentials of active listening and asking questions as the fundamentals for customer service excellence.

Module 4 – Caregiving: Together is Better (3 hours)

Students will learn to develop critical thinking skills, good problem-solving techniques, characteristics of a great team, and how to work together to solve a team challenge.

Module 5 – Caregiving: Unleashing My Inner Leader (3 hours)

Students will explore ways to build professional trust and credibility with others and to shape one’s own inner leader.

Final Exam Part 1: Online Test (1 hour)

Students will be given instructions for accessing the proctored online final examination consisting of 25 questions, 5 from each of the modules. Passing grade is 80%, or 20 correct answers. 

Final Exam Part 2: Elder Care Project (approx. 4 hours)

Students will select and engage in a project of at least 4 hours that will demonstrate competencies learned in the Elder Care Certificate training. Written reports about their Elder Care Project experience must be submitted within 2 weeks following Final Exam Part 1. (NOTE: this project can be achieved virtually via phone, video conferencing, etc.)

Industry Recognized Credentials for Ohio High School Students

When a student completes all components of the Elder Care Certificate program, they are eligible for 4 IRCs through the Ohio Department of Education. According to ODE, “The goal is for students to exit high school with a coherent bundle of credentials that leads to meaningful employment or post-secondary options.” The Elder Care Certificate IRCs are specified for the health care field and would be appropriate, even strongly recommended, for both clinical and non-clinical students within the health care field.

Trainer’s Resources

All materials for the Elder Care Certificate program will be provided. These include:

  1. All curriculum content and trainer's script contained in a well-organized, hard copy Trainer Guide.

  2. Trainer's access to a learning management system (LMS) for digital versions of training resources.

  3. PowerPoint slides, complete with trainer's script and imbedded videos, for each of the five modules.

  4. A detailed Student Guide bound into a sturdy booklet, which serves as handouts for taking notes as well as a reference manual.

  5. Student's access to LMS to complete both parts of the Final Exam:

    • proctored online final exam and

    • uploading project report for the Elder Care Project. (NOTE: this project can be achieved virtually via phone, video conferencing, etc.)

Elder Care Certificate is Copyright 2018-2024 Ohio State Innovation Foundation. Curriculum is reserved for the use of licensee ImpactDS Consulting, LLC, and certified trainers.

Contact Anne or Myra today to arrange for a personalized discussion of how we can bring Elder Care Certificate training to your organization. Please fill out the Contact Us form below or email
Background of Program
Significance of Tree Graphic
Learning Outcomes
Student Success
IRCs for Ohio High Schools
Trainer's Resources
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