Does minimum wage increase mean minimum margins for you?

Posted by & filed under Industry News.


The big headline news in my part of the country recently was this: “It’s Official: [Governor] Kate Brown signs minimum wage bill for $14.75 for Portland. Read News Article…

If your employees are like mine, they’re all excited about the raise coming to them immediately (they read the headlines only). In reality, this increase in minimum wage happens gradually between now and 2022 and only affects employers in the Portland metro area.

But the trend is upon us. And for small business owners and operators we know exactly what this means: either higher prices or lower margins.

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Home health care agencies struggle to find workers

Posted by & filed under Industry News.


By Laura Layden of the Naples Daily News

A retired engineer from Ohio, Hal Hume never imagined he’d become a home health aide.

But for nine years, he’s worked as a caregiver for Home Instead Senior Care in the Naples area.

“My wife applied for the job and when she talked to them, they asked if I might be interested. When I thought about it I was,” he recalls.

At 82, he’s taking care of other seniors who need a helping hand, so they can stay in their homes. His wife worked as a caregiver for a while too, but has since moved on to other interests. He, however, is hooked.

“It’s very rewarding,” he said proudly of his part-time job.

Facing a shortage of workers, home care agencies in Southwest Florida are scrambling to find more employees like Hume. Companies are increasingly recruiting retirees, veterans, students and stay-at-home parents, often with no health care experience, to meet growing demands.

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Are your caregivers the ones with all the pins?

Posted by & filed under Training.



We have a running debate in our office over an illustration we use frequently in presentations.  The image is of two Home Depot aprons – one without any pins, and one with dozens of pins representing all the different areas of mastery a worker has achieved.

The story actually wasn’t mine originally, but rather was offered up by a person in the audience of one of my presentations.  I was talking about caregiver certification pins, and the person said, “Well this makes sense to me.  When I go to Home Depot I always look for the person with the most pins on his or her apron.  I figure that person has to be the most knowledgeable and can probably answer my question the quickest.”

The internal debate is if this is a good representation of what a client or referral source might think if they saw a caregiver loaded down with certification pins – pins representing knowledge and competence in end of life care, post hospital care, dementia care, diabetes care and more.

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Exciting news about dementia

Posted by & filed under Industry News.



It’s about time for some good news about the incidence of dementia in the U.S.  If you’ve been following this, you know that the projections for the number of people with Alzheimer’s disease in the U.S. are staggering.  The Alzheimer’s Association projects more than 13.8 million senior adults to have this diagnosis by 2050 – nearly three times the current population of affected individuals.

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Thoughts on building your dream team

Posted by & filed under Training.


Do you want to have the best year ever?  Now is the time to focus on the one key to your success:  building your 2016 Dream Team!

If you’re like me, you know the difference having the right people in the right positions in your company can make.  I can certainly tell you the havoc having the wrong people make – for me, for our customers and for everyone else on the team.

Just for starters, my job is so much easier when I have a team of highly motivated, competent people in the right roles.  I can sleep at night, laugh a little during the day (instead of my typical frenzied pace from one fire to the next); even take a vacation without wondering if it was worth all the effort.

I’ve learned that building this team is a lot of work.  It starts even before the hiring process when I have how to write my “help-wanted” ad.  What characteristics do I want to require?  What personality style do I want to attract?  Will anyone even respond?

Next, I have to work my way through the interview process.  The ones that look good on paper but show up in cut-off shorts and full sleeve tattoos?  You know what I mean.

And that’s just before hiring.

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The real reason for regulation changes

Posted by & filed under Industry News, Legislation, Training.


Someone asked me at a presentation recently, “I know our training requirements have doubled in the past year.  What I don’t know is why.”

Some questions I get are pretty tough.  This one wasn’t.

Regulations are increasing because consumers want more.  They want the person providing care to their family member to have more training than hair dressers (1,500 hours for a barber; 1,600 hours for a cosmetologist in California).  They want to know that the person coming into a loved one’s home has training in safety, infection prevention and control and promoting dignity, independence and quality of life.  

Consumers have both a voice and a vote.  Legislators listen.  The results are rapidly increasing training requirements in nearly every state in the country. 

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Happy New Year: learning to look forward, not back

Posted by & filed under Inspiration.


Every year about this time I think how fast the prior year went – and hope I can slow things down just a little in the year to come.

I find myself examining the past year, and that’s OK to a point.  My tendency is to obsess about the things that didn’t go quite right – over and over again.

I need to remind myself that the past is gone.  We can’t change it, but we can learn from it.  And to do that well, we’d better focus on the future.

Here are my predictions for the future – 2016 and beyond…

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No more excuses in 2016

Posted by & filed under Compliance.


You may have received a postcard in the mail from us with a comic book look and a commonly-heard excuse on the front.  These are excuses why people aren’t in training compliance today.

We’ve got some important news for you.

Excuses won’t work…when licensing comes around to investigate a compliant from that employee who gave you ulcers but you thought they were gone…

Excuses won’t work…when a client falls and a hungry attorney with a fat payday in mind decides to check if you’ve trained every single caregiver on fall prevention within the last quarter.

Excuses won’t work…when your annual licensing visit uncovers employees who were sick or absent during required training sessions.

Here’s the good news, though.

You don’t need excuses.  Training compliance is easy, affordable and completely accessible, even if you’re a small start-up.  Even if you’re big, in multiple locations with different internal processes and cultures throughout the company.  Even if you don’t have the time, resources or staff to spend setting up a complex training program.

We have you covered.  Our Training Specialists, Consultants and Regulations and Compliance team can set up you with the training you need – 100% online.

And if you have skills demonstrations as part of your requirements?  We’ll even provide you with a facilitator’s guide with step-by-step checklists to make sure skills are done right and documentation is clear and complete.

No more excuses in 2016!


Learn More at

IPCed goes to China!

Posted by & filed under About Us.


One of IPCed’s Nurse Instructors, Kari McDaniel, recently conducted a caregiver training session in Linya, China, as part of a pilot program to determine and develop a training program for the millions of caregivers throughout China who work in the field of senior care.

Kari used the Chinese language version of our textbook, The Home Care Companion’s Quick Tips for Cargiving (Medifecta Healthcare Training, a division of IPCed) and other resources to make sure students had comprehensive materials in their own language.

Over the 2 ½ day training session Kari focused on teaching skills like infection prevention, vital signs, bathing and personal care, safety and transferring.  Kari notes that some of the main differences in teaching in China are cultural variances in concepts of privacy and dignity as well as basic differences in equipment and supplies.

“I could talk for hours about this experience and how exciting it was,” notes Kari.  She was able to play tourist for a day or two as well, visiting the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square and viewing the Great Wall of China from the air.

Kari is excited to continue to develop this training program and expand it to other areas in China.  Eventually we plan to have an online series of basic caregiver courses as well as a train-the-trainer program for skills practice and demonstration.