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Free Online Training Available for California’s Home Healthcare Workers and Caregivers

-Editorial

Caregivers and home healthcare workers–predominantly people of color and women–play a pivotal role as the backbone of California’s healthcare system. CalGrows provides comprehensive, free online training for both paid and unpaid caregivers, aiming to equip them with valuable skills and pave the way for new career possibilities. 

Eligible paid caregivers stand to benefit significantly, with the potential to earn up to $6,000 in stipends upon successful completion of the training coursework. CalGrows training is available only until August 30. 

CalGrows, a California Department of Aging (CDA) initiative, aims to bolster caregivers’ capabilities in supporting older adults and individuals with disabilities. 

Anticipating a significant demographic shift, with 10.8 million Californians aged 60 or above by 2030, CalGrows recognizes the pivotal role caregivers play in ensuring the well-being of these populations. By focusing on coaching and stipends, the program strives to enhance the quality of care, addressing the increasing demand for both paid and unpaid caregivers. Emphasizing the importance of proper training and support, CalGrows is committed to empowering caregivers to deliver high-quality care, enabling older adults to age in place within their homes and communities. 

The program extends its reach to the home and community-based direct care workforce, as well as unpaid family and friend caregivers, providing them with free training and valuable incentives. Through CalGrows, caregivers are poised to be better equipped to meet the evolving needs of older adults and those with disabilities.

Dr. VJ Periyakoil, Director of Stanford AGE Research Center and Director of Palliative Care Education & Training at Stanford University School of Medicine expressed immense gratitude to the state for acknowledging the enormity of a pervasive issue, likening it to an elephant in the room that surpasses the ordinary scale. Dr. Periyakoil delved into the challenges posed by an increasingly aging population, emphasizing the prevalence of heart disease and cancer as leading causes of mortality, with COVID-19 being a temporary anomaly.

Periyakoil shed light on the longevity-based research work they are engaged in, highlighting the inevitability of many individuals living with chronic conditions for extended periods. They emphasized the critical role of healthcare teams, friends, and family in supporting individuals facing multi-morbidity, where various chronic illnesses coexist.

Periyakoil researcher discussed the evolving landscape of aging, debunking myths about sudden deaths and accidents in older adults. Instead, they underscored the reality of living with treatable conditions, leading to a prolonged period of chronic illnesses.

Transitioning to the societal impact, the speaker touched on the significant number of family caregivers, revealing the emotional, physical, and social toll caregiving takes. They cited staggering figures, estimating the cost of family caregiving to be a substantial 600 billion dollars in 2021, highlighting the need for increased awareness and support for caregivers.

Periyakoil emphasized the role of direct care workers as the unseen connective tissue in the healthcare system. Proposing that investing in their knowledge and education would enhance the overall effectiveness of the healthcare system, the speaker envisioned a future where proper caregiver training would lead to improved services for everyone.

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