The key is education and certification!
Google Top 5 Caregiver Education Programs
If you are smart enough to be looking for a good caregiver education or certification training program then you will probably do a Google search just for that. We hoped to save you time by doing the research for you and identifying the most popular and well regarded programs that come up on Google’s search page.
The following rankings are based upon accessibility, variety of subject matter covered, price and overall value for both family caregivers and professional care providers who desire specialized credentials for career growth. The results are ranked based on best overall.
1) CertifiedCare.org: This is the best overall value for standardized; comprehensive caregiver certification credentials and is the only program on our list that offers a Alzheimer’s & Dementia certification and a Special Needs certification. Their professional “Certified Personal Care Aide” designation is trademarked (meaning graduates get exclusive rights to use that term as credential designation).
Pros: 1 complete online certification program that includes 4 modules (Family Caregiver Certification, Personal Care Aide Certification, Special Needs Certification which includes caring for chronic illnesses plus Alzheimer’s & Dementia Certification), lowest overall price for certification programs, graduates can receive both emailed and frame worthy certificates, there are no deadlines for completing the modules, modules are well organized and build upon previous information covered in the prerequisite module, accredited curriculum includes self-care for the caregiver, ethics, law, etc. Entire program totals 80 hours, and meets or exceeds most state and national education requirements, no quizzes or assignments, program is tax deductible and CertifiedCare maintains a registry for credential verification of CertifiedCaregivers. Students who complete 80 hour program are eligible to take RN clinic test so as to be able to apply for medicare/medicaid payor number.
Cons: Only available online, in English.
2) CactusWrenHomeCare.com: This is a great traditional classroom style caregiver training option and they also provide consulting for home care start ups.
Pros: Robust 62 hour training program, offers bundle program packages, reasonable prices for bricks and mortar classroom training, CPR/First Aid, fingerprinting and TB testing services and continuing education are offered. Live instruction format, so no need for tech support.
Cons: No distance learning training option- you must be able to get to Mesa or Phoenix Arizona for 2-3 days, course offerings are calendar controlled, programs are non-refundable, no option to receive frame worthy certificate and no Alzheimer’s-Dementia or disability-special needs training and certification.
3) Ipced.com: Offers education for caregivers and administrators of assisted living facilities as well as a nice business success program.
Pros: Online format, Spanish and Chinese (Mandarin) language options, good 40 hour program for family or professional caregivers, quizzes control progress through different course topics, DVDs for certain topics, individual state training packages and continuing education opportunities.
Cons: Most expensive program on our list, uses third-party company for training materials (good luck with tech support questions), family and professional programs are combined so not much variety in the curriculum, must wait at least 24 hours to start programs and no option to receive frame worthy certificate. No disability/special needs caregiving program, textbooks not included, strict 90 days to complete program deadline, technical support is only available Mon-Fri 8am -5pm and program requires a $50 set up fee plus costs of the program(s).
4) CaregiverList.com: This company has a very large website with a lot of resources. They offer a very affordable program, you can buy a background check and apply for a job from their website. They also offer resume writing assistance and a nice career center.
Pros: Online certification course, 10 hour introductory program is among least expensive and the program meets some state minimum orientation requirements, they offer a practice Nurses Aide test, and test retakes are allowed.
Cons: Their minimum 10 hour orientation program does not include many important subjects, certification programs are not packaged to be comprehensive, no refunds, test fees are extra, specialty education and certification programs are not offered.
5) CaringforMom.com: Offers small a la cart education courses reasonably priced and suitable for family caregivers, but no true testing and certification program for professionals.
Pros: Online courses that allow you to buy education snippets rather than complete programs and offers Washington state continuing education.
Cons: Lacks fully comprehensive curriculum, uses third party company for its training programs (good luck with tech support questions), must buy many courses to have somewhat complete training, no standardized educational material, can quickly become expensive (buying a la cart programs end up costing more than buying one fully comprehensive program), no test centered certification for verification of education achievement, and no frame worthy certificate offered (not best choice for professional care aides).
Find out more about caregiver education training and certification programs at the Elder Care Advice blog!