Caregiver Training Q & A

Q: Are caregivers required to have training now?

A: Caregiver training is required in some states following the hiring of the individual by a licensed assisted living or home care organization. Some states require no training; other states only require basic orientation.

Q: What about caregivers who are hired directly by families?

A: There are no consistent standards of training for direct hire caregivers. Some caregivers have training as Certified Nursing Assistants, but this training assumes that the worker has a nurse supervising her work. Most privately hired caregivers work without nursing supervision or oversight, but don’t have the training to prepare them for unsupervised care. Few states have any training or certification requirements for private, in-home caregivers.

Q: Doesn’t anyone require caregiver training?

A: Licensed home health agencies are required to have trained caregivers, or home health aides. Facilities, such as nursing homes and assisted living facilities, have training requirements. Some states require home care agencies to provide training to staff, but many states are just now in the process of developing training standards.

Q: Do agencies or associations offer training?

A: Yes. Caregiver training is widely available through private agencies, schools and associations. The challenge is that some of this training is minimal; most is offered in a classroom setting and no standard for certification yet exists in the U.S. today for caregiver training.

Q: Many long term care and other insurance companies require “certified caregivers” for reimbursement of care. How do families meet this requirement?

A: Many families have hired certified nursing assistants or home health aides. Many families, however, are seeking other certification programs that prepare the worker for independent work, without a nurse supervising their work. The newly designated Personal Care Aide certification meets that need.