The current shortage of health care aides in the Methow Valley will only worsen as the valley ages. The solution to this shortage, however, is simple: train more aides and inspire them to enter the profession. So Jamie’s Place Adult Family Homes is tackling the shortage head-on by providing a free training for potential aides.
In its two homes, Jamie’s Place provides respectful, compassionate, and dignified care for 12 elders through the dedication of 16 different caregivers. But even more caregivers are needed, to meet demands within Jamie’s Place as well as the wider Methow Valley community. The health care aide job may not seem glamorous, but it’s essential to the Methow Valley’s identity as a community that takes care of its people, 200 of whom will need home health assistance within the next three years, according to a survey done by SASH (Senior Assessment for Support and Housing).
“We want the Methow Valley to understand what an important job this is,” says Jessica Kulsrud, CNA and associate director of Jamie’s Place. “The caregivers in the valley are medically trained, multi-skilled workers who also need to be empathetic, compassionate, multi taskers, with whom we are entrusting the care of our loved ones. We, as a community, should be honoring those who take on this responsibility.”
Whether or not you’re seeking an eventual higher level health care career, the aide training is a great place to start. It’s such an excellent steppingstone, in fact, that several high school students are getting certified as health care aides through a partnership between the Methow Valley School District and Jamie’s Place.
“We get phone calls for home care every week,” Jessica says. “The youth program is intended to help with our work force development. For students, it’s a great way to see if they are suited for this kind of work.”
For those interested in taking training to the next level, Jamie’s Place is also offering bridge training for aides to become certified nursing assistants. “Caring for elders is a meaningful profession that offers life-changing relationships, career advancement opportunity, and financial security,” says Jessica, who will be teaching the trainings alongside Jamie’s Place board member and RN Patty Spencer.
Jessica’s words about caregiving being a “meaningful profession” are not hollow; they’re based on the fulfillment she and other Jamie’s Place staff have found from caregiving through the Green House Model. Jamie’s Place and later its sister home, Mountain View, have provided compassionate, personalized care to nearly 80 Methow Valley elders since 2007.
In an interview last year, Jamie’s Place co-founder Glenn Schmekel talked about discovering the Green House Model, which he and co-founder Sheila Brandenburg used to shape their vision of a unique, community-based alternative to traditional institutional care. In the Green House Model, Glenn said, “elders have control over the rhythms of their day,” which “honors individual dignity and experience.”
Jessica says, “The Green House Model of care envisions homes where elders and others enjoy quality care where they, their families, and the staff engage in meaningful relationships built on equality, empowerment and mutual respect.”
For more information about the trainings, contact email@example.com.