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Students and Teachers Share Thoughts on Elder Care Certificate

ImpactDS Consulting completed another successful year of the Elder Care Certificate. It is through the hard work and dedication of the teachers and students that we are able to make that statement. As you will see by the chart below, we have had year-over-year growth in the number of schools and teachers delivering the program, resulting in students earning certificates.

While we are excited about the numbers, what we really would like to share are comments from both teachers and students.

From Elder Care Certificate certified teachers

“The students took a deep dive into who they are as a person and what they have to offer to others. The students identified their strengths and talents that will be valuable and essential in working with the elderly population. I would recommend the Elder Care Certificate as a precursor into the State Tested Nurse Aide Program.”

“We were able to place 5 students into medical offices as PCAs (patient care associates). One of our selling points to make this happen was the students that had obtained the Elder Care Certification. This was groundbreaking for the Medical Careers Academy program!”

“…multiple students commented on how glad that they had taken the Elder Care Certification. They felt that it had given them so much insight into dealing with their residents.”

Comments made by students in their Elder Care Certificate projects

“I am glad that I had the opportunity to have this conversation with my grandma and appreciate what she does. I am glad this program helped me understand the aging process a little better.”

“This experience helped reaffirm why I want to work with the elderly in the healthcare field.”

“The elder program was such a great program and has taught me so many skills. It showed me that small things can make a big difference to the elderly. I can’t wait to use all these helpful skills in the future when I'm able to work in the nursing home. I’m excited to have the opportunity to give the elderly what they need and deserve.”

“Overall, I believe the aging process is different for everyone, and it can be good or bad depending on your mental and physical health. So, with all of that being said, I feel like I learned a lot more about the aging process and what it can do to you in the long run.”

Finally, we asked several questions of Randi Hamill, Workforce Director for LeadingAge Ohio. 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 serves an estimated 400,000 elderly Ohioans annually and employs more than 35,000 persons statewide. Randi brings a unique perspective as she works with long-term care organizations throughout Ohio regarding their workforce challenges, and she is also a certified Elder Care Certificate instructor.

What value does the Elder Care Certificate provide to students in general?

“The Elder Care Certificate is unique in that it marries broad spectrum knowledge in various aspects of aging, unique characteristics for working with older adults, and interpersonal skillsets necessary to be successful in the workplace. The interactive and conversational format allows students to approach new or unfamiliar aging concepts by developing their critical thinking skills, examining their values, and understanding aging in a broader and more diverse way. The aging services sector is often underrepresented as a diverse and fulfilling career pathway, but this certification allows participants to explore those career opportunities in addition to learning healthy aging concepts that combat stereotypes and stigmas around aging, older people, and direct care. Students leave this certificate class with a healthier mindset towards aging and increased interest in working with older adults.”

How would this certificate impact students' employability?

“Aging Service providers desire to hire individuals who are invested in quality of care, possess knowledge in aging concepts, and have the interpersonal skills to work effectively and empathetically with older people and their families. The Elder Care Certificate meets all those features and enhances employability above standard applicants. LeadingAge Ohio member organizations and providers have also confirmed they would be more interested in hiring an individual with the Elder Care Certificate, as it shows applicants have interest and skillsets in working with the aging population.”

Please add any additional thoughts

“The aging population is projected to increase dramatically in coming years. In response, job growth in elder care and, most specifically direct care work, will also experience significant growth to meet the care needs for older people. It is vitally important to expose students and individuals to the unique and rewarding career opportunities in aging services and the Elder Care Certificate provides excellent opportunities to introduce the field and generate interest for those that may otherwise be unaware of all the aging services sector has to offer.”

We are grateful to the students, instructors and all those who have made the Elder Care Certificate program a success. Helping to make a difference in the lives of older adults is a privilege. We truly believe that what we are doing on a day-to-day basis, as an older adult once stated, “is walking each other home”. And what a gift that is for us all.

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