A pilot program in California that provides training to nearly 6,000 in-home care aides has resulted in fewer emergency room visits and hospitalizations for elderly and disabled care recipients. The program trained workers of the In-Home Supportive Services program, who are paid by the state to provide supports for seniors and people with disablities, often times relatives. The workers were trained in CPR and first aid, as well as infection control, medications, chronic diseases, and other areas. Analysis of insurance claims filed by those impacted by the program and those not involved showed that repeated ER visits declined by 24 percent in the first year and 41 percent in the second year.
There are currently no federal training requirements for in-home caregivers, though some states have tried various approaches to standardizing training. The results of the California study show promise, according to researchers involved in the project. The hope is that the state will help pay for future training if it is shown that such training results in lower costs and better health outcomes for people supported.
Source: Kaiser Health News