Most Viewed Stories
New course prepares students as caregivers to aging
As baby boomers age by the millions each year, attending to their personal needs will require more people than ever.
The anticipated demand for caregivers has led the Glenn County Office of Education to develop of new course of study to train individuals to become personal aides.
Personal care aides held about 1.9 million jobs in the US in 2010, but based on current predictions, the job outlook is good and is expected to grow by 69 percent by 2020, much faster than the average for all occupations.
"As baby boomers get older there are many more of us who will need care," said Jess Modesto, director of the Glenn Adult Program. "There will be a high demand for individuals who can care for people in their homes and in facilities."
California is one of six states awarded federal grants under the Affordable Care Act — President Barrack Obama's signature health care reform — to developed a personal care aide training program.
Modesto has developed a competency-based training for personal care aides — an entry-level caregiving position for which, currently, there are no federal training standards.
"GCOE would like to be the vendor for that program in Northern California," Modesto said.
Modesto presented his program to public heath officials and educators at Butte Community College last week, and is working with state officials on a unified certification or licensing process.
Not all agencies require training or certification, he said, except for those that receive reimbursement from Medicare or Medicaid.
"To increase the chances of getting hired, it's best to get certification and training," Modesto said.
Modesto said he hopes to start his first personal care aide training course in April with a class of about 25 students.
The program will consist of about 77 hours over 25 days, and include classroom, clinical training and career and personal development.
"Right now we are looking at a cost of about $800, but we are trying to make it more affordable," he said.
The intent of the program is to provide a health career pathway for adults that are seeking an entry level position in the health profession.
"This is something that can open a lot of doors," he said.
Having a high school diploma or being a English speaker is not a requirement of the course and is not a requirement of most positions as home care aides, Modesto said.
But Modesto said it is never-the-less a rewarding job.
"It's a job you can be proud of because it is truly noble to take care of someone in need," he said. "It may also serve as starting point to continue training in the medical profession."
Duties of a personal care aide includes helping disabled or elderly people with daily personal tasks such as eating, bathing, dressing, light housekeeping, laundry, and the proper handling of medications.
Personal care aides often organize their clients schedule, plan appointments, arrange transportation to doctor's appointments and social outings, shop for groceries, prepare meals and provide companionship.
The median annual wage for a personal care aide is about $21,000.
CONTACT Susan Meeker at 934-6800 or email@example.com. ï¿½