Caregiver Incentive Project offers free training program for new in-home caregivers

North Central UP

The organization is trying to make a difference when it comes to in-home caregivers.

MARQUETTE, Mich. (WJMN) – The CIP Caregiver Academy’s Mentored New In-home Caregiver Training is intended for those interested in working as a caregiver or seeking to learn skills while in school.

People ages 18 to 55 that have not worked professionally as a caregiver are eligible for the training program. The program is grant-funded and free of cost to attendees according to Erik Bergh, CIP Program Manager.

“This training is going to be free thanks to generous grants from the Marquette County Foundation, Superior Health Foundation, the West End Health Foundation, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan have all donated grant funds to Caregiver Incentive Project to help fund this program,” said Bergh. “So there is no cost and actually we’re providing a stipend for attendees who go to all four of the sessions.”

Those interested must also be able to pass a background check; be physically and mentally willing and able to care for the elderly, medically fragile or for individuals with disabilities.

“In home care can be for elderly, for medically fragile, for people with intellectual or developmental disabilities, all topics really,” said Bergh.

The training sessions will be over the course of two weekends in April located at the Norther Center at Northern Michigan University. Days for training are April 10, 11, 17 and 18. On Saturdays the training is from 9:00 A.M. to 1:00 P.M. and Sunday hours will be from 1:00 P.M. to 5:00 P.M.

“We’re going to be covering a lot in 16 hours of in-person training,” said Bergh. “We’re going to be talking about emergency situations; we’re going to be talking about how to communicate with the people that you’re caring for; we’re going to be talking about some medical information, basic medical information, CPR, first aid, that sort of thing; also going to talk about keeping yourself safe with PPE and gloves and those sorts of things; we’re going to train folks in how to look for signs of abuse in the people they are caring for and if they discover that who they should report it to so lots of different topics.”

There are 20 spots open for the April program, registration can be done online. CIP intends on hosting another offering of the training program later in the spring located in Western Marquette County.

“We think that there is sort of an invisible need for caregiving out in the rural areas that people may be overlooking opportunities that might be right very close to their homes and then turning around and driving several miles for employment in towns and so forth,” said Bergh. “So that’s one of the initiatives that the caregiver incentive project is really looking forward to developing and we call it ‘care close to home’ and helping find caregivers for people out in rural areas that are looking for caregivers.”

Bergh says currently there is a shortage of caregivers nationwide.

“The Caregiver Incentive Project exists for some very big reasons, we are trying to publicize the national shortage of caregivers we estimate 7 million caregivers shy of what would be needed for in home care for folks we also incentivize college students to go out and be trained and work in the caregiving field by giving scholarships and debt forgiveness programs,” said Bergh.

Caregiving is done by many types of people including friends, family members or college students. There is currently no standardized training for caregiving, but CIP is looking to change that.

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