Training Caregivers Pays Off
Low income elderly and disabled Californians were less likely to be hospitalized or go to the emergency room if their at-home caregivers participated in an intensive training program, according to a new report from researchers at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF).
A pilot program trained nearly 6000 workers in three California counties, emphasizing infection control, medications, chronic diseases, first aid, CPR and other services. The caregivers were part of the In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) program, paid for by the state to care for low income elderly and the disabled.
The rate of repeated emergency room visits declined by 24 percent in the first year after caregivers received training and by 41 percent in the second year, according to the study. Caregivers told UCSF researchers they felt better equipped to handle the technical parts of their job, as well as communicating with doctors and patients.
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