Prepare to Care on Front Line of Central Iowa Works, Senior Housing Workforce Partnership

Central Iowa Works has formed a new Workforce Partnership with Senior Housing Management, emphasizing the importance of connecting direct care professionals with a healthful dose of both educational and career-building resources.

Senior Housing, dedicated to providing essential care that translates into a higher quality of life for Iowa’s seniors, notes integrity, compassion and expertise among the foundational values driving its heartfelt approach to serving residents across the state.

The organization works to enhance healthcare for persons being served as part of a network that includes 18 Iowa locations, with five existing and two under-construction assisted-living communities in Greater Des Moines. In tandem with the new partnership, Senior Housing has been enrolling staff to participate in Prepare to Care, a direct care and support curriculum facilitated by Central Iowa Works.

At Senior Housing, a focus on resident satisfaction is a way of life. From infection control to mobility assistance and worker safety, competencies associated with Prepare to Care revolve around a person-centered approach that leads to best possible outcomes.

Participants in the six-hour training are granted access to a wide range of robust educational materials that cover an array senior health related topics such as monitoring and maintenance, home and community living, the professional support of daily activities, communication and intrapersonal skills.

It covers actions that are instrumental to providing seniors with functional, nutritional, hygiene and behavioral support­, at the same time considering ways to maximize independence at various milestones of development or meeting an alternative need. Emergency preparedness, crisis intervention and appropriate documentation, alongside legal, financial, ethical and spiritual concerns, too.

“We are excited to have (Senior Housing) on board as a partner,” said Soneeta Mangra-Dutcher, operations director with Central Iowa Works. “The direct care training curriculum is supportive of real-world learning environments and the strengthening of career ladders.”

Prepared To Care.

Three of Senior Housing’s corporate Nurse Clinicians have already completed the Prepare to Care “Train the Trainer” course. To date, four classes have been offered by the clinicians and many Senior Housing community staff members throughout Iowa have taken the course online.

“What sets this program apart from other training is the excitement around this education,” said Senior Housing Nurse Clinician Joy Laudick. “The response from staff has been that it is great information, and they are also excited about the certifications they earn.”

The direct care workforce–serving approximately two-thirds of the nation’s elderly, disabled and others living with chronic conditions–has been pegged by PHI as one of the largest and fastest growing in America.

By 2020, direct care workers in the United States are expected to represent one of the largest occupational groups with approximately 5 million people­–even exceeding the number of retail salespersons–with the potential to have a major impact on job creation and economic prosperity.

“Central Iowa Works has been a great partner for us in the retirement communities we manage,” Laudick said. “Senior Housing Management is very pleased with the support offered to get these great education modules out to staff.”

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