Home Instead Senior Care has joined forces with the End of Life Partnership charity to launch a brand new City & Guilds accredited programme in end of life care to support its 9,000 caregivers.
As demand for end-of-life care at home rises, the UK’s leading homecare provider has unveiled the bespoke training programme to help its caregivers cope with the practical and emotional demands.
The aim is two-fold: to support caregivers in an emotionally challenging strand of care work and to improve the quality of the care provided to clients. The course, made of up five modules, includes an introduction to palliative, end of life and terminal care; aspects of care with emphasis on oral care (poor oral hygiene can worsen the health of a client receiving palliative care), symptom management including mindfulness and relaxation alongside communication, loss, grief and bereavement.
“With an estimated 60 per cent of people in the UK wishing to die at home, and rising pressure on NHS and social care resources, it is clear that more end-of-life care is going to be delivered in people’s own homes. We want to be sure our caregivers are fully prepared and thoroughly supported,” said Martin Jones, Managing Director at Home Instead Senior Care.
“Rather than use something off the shelf, we have invested in creating our own training programme that reflects the specific requirements of our unique model of relationship-based, non-medical care. Uniquely, we have focused as much on the needs of our caregivers as we have on the care provided to our clients.”
Karen Finch, experienced community and palliative care nurse and Educator at the End of Life Partnership, helped Home Instead design the course. She said: “Care staff often don’t get the credit they deserve. They build such trusting relationships with their clients that they’re often the people that clients choose to have those difficult conversations with as they approach the end of their life. This training builds on what caregivers are already doing but will improve their confidence, knowledge and skills.”
Caregiver Amanda Scott, from Home Instead’s Ipswich office, was one of 39 CAREGivers who completed the pilot training course. She said: “Death is not a nice subject but this training makes you think completely differently. It definitely makes me feel better supported.”
Liz Deakin – Business Development Director from City & Guilds said: ‘City & Guilds Accredited Programme status demonstrates to employees, and those receiving care, that Home Instead is committed to investing in them. This commitment is not only raising standards which ultimately benefits employees and their development, but it’s also allowing even better care to be provided to individuals who need it. It’s great to see Home Instead really leading the way as the first Alzheimer’s and Dementia care at home provider to have achieved this standard.’
The training will be launched to Home Instead’s 195-office UK network later this month. Mr Jones added: “We continue to make serious investment in training and development. It’s critical to the recruitment and retention of our caregivers, who are the backbone of what we do, and why we received the Best Large Employer in Care award for the 2nd year running.”
The end of life accredited programme is the company’s second City & Guilds accredited course; its Alzheimer’s Care Programme, launched in 2012, has so far been completed by over 4,000 caregivers.