Tag Archives: AGE-u-cate Training Insitute

REVEAL Aging: The New Generation of Workforce Education

The Aging Services Industry faces a triple-whammy when it comes to workforce turnover and retention.

The first hit is the massive turnover that occurred and continues to occur because of the pandemic.   Second,  the turnover is on top of existing unfillable vacant positions.  Thirdly, there are new entrants into the field who have no prior experience caring for older adults.

We don’t want just warm bodies.  Yet, providers had to scurry and pull from every corner to get to bare staffing requirements.  Now, providers hang on hope that the good employees will not jump ship as the pandemic fades.  What are we to do about this massive issue?

Much of the focus will continue to  be on recruiting new employees, and rightly so.  However, great attention needs to be given to how to keep the new, good employees.  At the same time, it is critical to also maintain the spirit and engagement of the seasoned employees.

Recruitment and Retention:  Hand in Hand

I’m going to add a fourth whammy, and it is the scarcity of available time for employee training and education.

Time- nobody has it.  Not the Administrator, Director of Nursing or Human Resources Director.  So, how can we provide meaningful, affordable, and time-efficient education for employees?

While providers were on the front lines scraping for survival, AGE-u-cate Training Institute tackled these foreseeable  issues and developed a responsive and feasible employee education strategy.

Pam Brandon, AGE-u-cate’s Founder and President has unveiled REVEAL Aging:  The next generation of aging services employee education and training delivery that works.

The REVEAL Aging content focuses on improving quality of life and quality of care.  Each device friendly course consists of micro-learning segments of approximately ten minutes each.

This method provides on the spot learning that boosts engagement, closes skills gaps and fosters practical applications in the workplace.  Furthermore, content is compatible on smart phones, I-Pads and desk tops, making it accessible for all employees.

“The content gets to the core of what it takes to understand the aging process, and promote quality of life.  The topics are universal for all departments.  It is important that everyone working with older adults possess a deep understanding and elevate empathy.”  Pam Brandon, President, Founder AGE-u-cate Training Institute.

Learn more about REVEAL Aging in this 30-minute webinar, and by visiting the AGE-u-cate website.

Julie has worked in Aging Services for over 30 years and has been a Licensed Nursing Home Administrator since 1990. She is  the Director of Grants and Consulting Projects and a Certified Master Trainer with AGE-u-cate Training Institute. In addition, she is an instructor and of Gerontology and Leadership in Aging Services at Northern Illinois University and lives in the Chicago Northwest Suburb of Mount Prospect, IL.

Expressive Touch in Caregiving is Beneficial for Everyone

Touch connects humans to each other, reduces stress, and communicates care and concern. Don’t we all need a little more of this these days?

Compassionate Touch® is an effective caregiving technique that combines expressive touch and compassionate presence.  The good- old-fashioned back rub is making its way back to eldercare, reinforcing that touch is beneficial for everyone.

But, let’s not stop at the back.  Add shoulders, arms and hands, legs and feet, and now we have a powerful caregiving protocol that is easy to learn and so effective.

Eldercare providers need tools that improve the quality of life for those they serve.  Additionally, providers need ways improve the quality of the work experience for their employees.  I would argue that there has never been a more critical time than now to seek new ways to retain employees.

Compassionate Touch® hits the mark on both counts.

Benefits of Touch

Compassionate Touch® offers numerous benefits to both care partners.   Findings are detailed here, as reported by participating nursing homes.

  • Decreased dementia related behavioral expression
  • Decrease in rejecting care
  • Reduction in anti-psychotic medication use
  • Increased cooperation with care

Additionally, touch is equally beneficial for the caregiver.  The physiological response of increasing  oxytocin and decreasing cortisol is a stress reducer.  In addition, caregivers also reported that they feel better equipped to respond to the emotional needs of their elders.

Empowered and equipped caregivers are better positioned to provide excellent care.

To illustrate, observe these words from an Ohio Skilled Nursing Activities Director:

“I have found the CT program a pleasant way to engage our residents in a touch program which is essential to all human life.  It thrills my heart to see the positive verbal and non-verbal responses from our residents.”

To conclude, there is no better time than the present to re-ignite the compassion, love and connection between elders and their caregivers. Both parties need it now, more than ever.

Julie has worked in Aging Services for over 30 years and has been a Licensed Nursing Home Administrator since 1990. She is a the Director of Grants and Consulting Projects and a Certified Master Trainer with AGE-u-cate Training Institute. In addition, she is an instructor and of Gerontology and Leadership in Aging Services at Northern Illinois University and lives in the Chicago Northwest Suburb of Mount Prospect, IL.

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team. Phil Jackson

AGE-u-cate Training Institute is a team that works together to create real change in elder care. Each person is integral to the mission of the organization with their unique knowledge and talents.   We recently asked our team a simple question – Why ATI 

Ann Catlin, Training & Education Consultant/ creator of Compassionate Touch®– Six years ago, Pam and I convened in Tulsa to explore how we might work together.  We shared a desire to uplift elders in assisted environments by elevating care-providers’ skills—and Pam had a vision of how to make that happen. I’m proud that the program I developed, Compassionate Touch®, now lives with AGE-u-cate, and I’m delighted to be a part of an enormously talented team, as together we create positive change.

Heidi Benard, Client Success Advisor – Passion is just one of the many reasons I joined this team!  When I came across Age-u-cate over 2 years ago, something inside of me knew I needed to learn more.  Being an educator myself, and having firsthand experience with both in-laws with dementia, I felt like I had been directed to “the right place”.  Now, I am honored and privileged to be a “smiling teammate” of this amazing and talented group.    Passion drives…empathy connects…and Age-u-cate delivers amazing programs.

John Brandon, Information Technology & Video Production – I love working for AGE-u-cate because it gives me the ability to be truly creative and responsive to the needs of others within the company.

Julie Boggess, Director of CMP and Consulting Projects – Through a string of unplanned and unexpected encounters, I was introduced to AGE-u-cate Training Institute.  I learned about their educational programs, met the people, and the deal was sealed for me.  Working for a company where I can apply my 30 years of Aging Services experience means everything.  We are all encouraged to be creative, share ideas and work together to build educational programs that get at the heart of caring for older adults.  Working for ATI fulfills my longing to be a part of transforming how we care for older adults, and that begins with relevant and impactful education that changes attitudes and actions.  I’ve found my encore career, and I could not feel more thankful.

Kathy Stevens, Accounting and Finance – I love working with such an amazing group of people! It’s so nice to be around people that are truly passionate about their work. I am a better person because of my AGE-u-cate family!

Mary Petersen, Director of Client Engagement – The corporate philosophy at AGE-u-cate aligns with my belief that customers are not just customers, but partners.  I admire and respect the people I work with.  We all share the same goal, to create an environment that fosters creativity for the development of motivational dementia education programs.

Michelle Terry, Marketing Manager – At AGE-u-cate I have the opportunity to work alongside a passionate, empathetic and intelligent team and live out a marketer’s dream – represent quality programs that truly make a difference and that I am passionate about.

Pam Brandon, President/Founder, AGE-u-cate Training Institute – It is an honor and privilege to work alongside such outstanding individuals who share a passion to make a positive difference in the world.  We’ve accomplished so much together, and we have so much more to do – it’s all very exciting!

Tammy Craig, Training Operations – I am grateful to be a part of a family (AGE-u-cate) that is genuinely passionate about helping the aged care community. It was evident from the beginning that empathy and care are driving forces behind creating programs to enhance the lives of care partners and the people who they care for.

V’Ann Giuffre, Senior Vice President Growth and Operations – ATI has brought together a group of professionals with individual knowledge and experience who share a desire to make a difference in our world. Being part of a company from its early days and watching it grow and develop has been a fantastic experience. I am continually intellectually challenged, pushed from my comfort zone, encouraged to grow professionally and learning from each member of this dynamic team.

Learn more about these professionals here.

Written by V’Ann Giuffre, VP Operations, AGE-u-cate.

V’Ann has been an education specialist in school, business and conference settings for over 20 years. She finds great satisfaction in making learning come alive for people, whether aged 3 or 93. She brings her energized teaching style to her role as Master Trainer for Dementia Live™ and Compassionate Touch® and is a Certified Ageless Grace™ Educator. As AGE-u-cate’s Vice President of Operations, V’Ann keeps the balls in the air, juggling logistical details. Born and raised in rural Central Texas, V’Ann now lives in Fort Worth.

Touch for Elders is Needed Now More than Ever

The AGE-u-cate Training Institute supports aging services providers as they respond to the isolation crisis facing their elderly residents and clients.

The title of this article seems counter-intuitive during this time of quarantine.   Touching an unrelated person is not a popular notion right now.  But, caregivers for the frail elderly are becoming more aware of the effects that isolation has on those in their care.

Human contact now consists of gloves, gowns, face shields, and masks.  The frail elderly live in an unfamiliar world.  Also, many do not possess the cognitive ability to make sense of it all.

Family members and friends can’t be with loved ones in elder care communities. The term “skin hunger” was new to me, but now I understand.  Touching others through a hug, holding a hand, a stroke of the arm or shoulder is virtually non-existent these days.

Consider this with the fact that touch deprivation is already a reality for the elderly.  Now we have a bigger problem on our hands.

Touch in Quarantine

The great news is that we can reduce the effects of extreme isolation with expressive touch.  We need not be afraid to offer a back, shoulder, hand, or foot rub to those in our care.

More than ever, touch is essential and life-giving for both caregiver and receiver, especially during this quarantine.  With infection prevention protocols,  we can and should offer touch as a way to ease anxiety, fear, and loneliness.

“The current COVID-19 Pandemic is creating an isolation crisis for the vulnerable elders of our country.  We need the transformative power of human connection and touch now, more than ever,” Pam Brandon, Founder and President of AGE-u-cate Training Institute.

Touching Moments Scholarship

The AGE-u-cate Training Institute is awarding a Compassionate Touch Certified Community training to one Assisted Living, Memory Care, Nursing Home, Home Care, or Hospice Agency in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

That’s 51 organizations that will have a powerful tool to meet the isolation crisis that is happening in elder care nationwide.

The online application process is simple and the form along with more information can be found at  https://ageucate.com/index.php?main_page=touching_moments.

Julie has worked in Aging Services for over 30 years and has been a Licensed Nursing Home Administrator since 1990. She is a Certified Master Trainer with the AGE-u-cate Training Institute. Through her company Enlighten Eldercare,  Julie provides training and educational programs on elder caregiving for family and professional caregivers.  In addition, she is an instructor and the Interim Director of Gerontology at Northern Illinois University and lives in the Chicago Northwest Suburb of Mount Prospect, IL.