Online Employee Training: HR Caregiver Skills Development

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Online employee training sponsored by HR departments offers employees in the workplace support that reinforces core competencies in the workplace. Wilson’s no-cost online caregiver program in webinar and podcast format helps family caregivers manage daily care needs and plan for the future.

Curious? Watch Pamela’s On-Demand Webinar and learn the benefits of sharing this program

Caregiving—whether a family or a professional caregiver—requires time management, organizational skills, and many hard and soft skills. HR departments can learn how caregiver skills training links to employee benefits, wellness, training, and development programs to increase employee engagement and on-the-job performance.

Caregiver Skills Training Reinforces Workplace Core Competencies

Core competencies are an essential aspect of HR employee training. Caregiver skills and core competencies can be supported through uniquely designed online employee training HR programs.

A core competency is knowledge, skill, or ability that contributes to the successful completion of work projects that translate to home and personal lives. Many employees who are working caregivers fail to realize that using skills gained in the workplace translates to caregiving activities and vice versa.

Companies with well-developed HR employee training and development programs use proprietary programs to evaluate employees’ intellectual abilities and personality traits. The results support employee hiring, training, retention, skills, and interpersonal development. But what happens after that when the stresses of family care become a distraction?

Hard Skills Matter—Soft Skills Ease Relationships

All jobs have minimum requirements for skills. Secretaries type 60 words per minute. Attorneys and physicians have advanced degrees and specialized skills.

Machinists specialize in diagnosing mechanical problems and following work orders. Everyone has basic skills that it takes to do a job—these are called hard skills.

Soft skills include a positive attitude, being flexible, and going above and beyond to get the job done. How many people do you know who are likable and seem to sail through life?

These individuals possess above-average soft skills. While hard skills are necessary for the job, soft skills make working with others more pleasurable and effective. Soft skills are critical to caregiving success because of the variety of people family caregivers work with in healthcare and community care systems.

Individuals with excellent hard skills may be able to run circles around teammates—but when it comes to teamwork, leadership, and communication skills, their results may be abysmal. Hard skills form the foundation of technical expertise for corporations.

Soft skills involve relationship building and many other interpersonal skills. Communicating a corporate vision, building work teams, and providing excellent customer service are advanced through the use of soft skills.

Wilson shares soft skills for family and working caregivers through videos on her YouTube channel that respond to questions asked by caregivers.

Caregiver skills trainingSoft Skills are Essential Workplace and Caregiver Skills

Problem-solving, planning, organizing, communicating, team building, initiating, gaining consensus, being resilient, and being results-oriented are soft skills. Soft skills are high on the list of essential skills for caregiving success but may be low on the priority of HR employee training and development programs.

The education system does not focus on the value of the importance of using soft skills in the workplace. Online employee training and HR employee training and development programs can bring supervisors and employees together to build soft skills.

Developing above-average caregiver skills specific to people skills is critical to ensure care for elderly parents and patients. The degree of personal accountability is high when decisions affect health and well-being.

Caring for elderly parents requires communicating, creatively solving problems, negotiating with care team partners, resolving conflict, and collaborating with others. Professional caregivers working in home-care, assisted living communities, nursing homes, and hospitals benefit from similar skills. Financial planners, CPAs, elder law attorneys, and other professionals who work with the elderly benefit from using soft skills that include compassion, empathy, and listening.

Online Employee Training HR Caregiver Skills

Taking Care of Elderly Parents: Stay at Home and Beyond is an extraordinary online employee training program that helps participants learn and implement care management techniques developed by Wilson and used in her prior care navigation business, The Care Navigator. Wilson’s experience as a court-appointed guardian, medical and financial power of attorney, the personal representative of the estate, trustee, and care manager allows her to speak to a broad range of caregiving experiences.

Her expertise and ability to teach caregivers about all aspects of taking care of elderly parents are unequaled. Core competencies discussed  in this online employee training HR caregiver skills program include:

  • Planning
  • Organizing
  • Problem-solving
  • Decision-making
  • Strategic thinking
  • Communication
  • Teamwork and consensus-building
  • Negotiation
  • Conflict resolution
  • Initiation
  • Project management and scheduling
  • Results-orientation
  • Accountability
  • Flexibility and adaptability
  • Resiliency

Gaining Confidence in Caring for Elderly Parents

Caring for elderly parents is usually a long-term project. Adult children begin by helping with miscellaneous projects, not realizing they have started on the caregiving path. Caregivers in the early stages may not self-identify as caregivers. Workplace communication about caregiving programs, support, and education increases self-identification and voluntary participation in online employee training HR caregiver programs.

In the early stage of caregiving, few discussions occur about short or long-term care planning. As the stages of caregiving advance, health concerns of aging parents escalate and require the caregiver skills of problem-solving and decision-making skills.

Making Healthcare Decisions

Discussions about chronic diseases and daily living abilities occur with healthcare providers. Decisions about medical power of attorney, a living will, and desires for life-sustaining treatments should happen with physicians and elderly parents. This unfamiliar territory can be stressful for adult children who do not have experience in these areas.

The online employee HR programs and employee resource programs offered by Wilson present caregivers with practical and specific steps to learn about activities of daily living, chronic disease, attending medical appointments, managing medications, and advocating with partners in the healthcare system. Becoming more familiar with situations that caregivers will encounter raises the confidence to advocate for care.

This specific learning translates to HR employee wellness programs focusing on managing chronic disease, smoking cessation, weight management, exercise, and other components. In the online employee training HR program for caregivers, Wilson shares relatable examples to help caregivers recognize the importance of self-care and preventing chronic disease through lifestyle changes and creating daily habits for self-care.

Care Management

The involvement of brothers and sisters in the care of elderly parents may become an issue. Teamwork, consensus building, negotiation, and conflict resolution are essential to working within families to ensure care for elderly parents. The emotional aspects of family relationships can be particularly stressful for working caregivers who feel they may be carrying the burden of responsibility.

The initiation and use of healthcare services require project management, scheduling, and oversight. The concept of care management relates to the role and responsibility of the caregiver to manage all aspects of daily life for elderly parents.

The primary caregiver becomes accountable for implementing recommendations and the results of these plans that require flexibility. Elderly parents experience ups and downs in health conditions that necessitate flexible responses, problem-solving and identifying alternate solutions. Unexpected situations result in caregivers feeling as if they were on an up-and-down rollercoaster. Being a caregiver requires the resiliency to bounce back from adverse conditions and to regroup to revise the plan of care.

Emotional Intelligence

Hard skills taught in the workplace are beneficial to scheduling and managing projects. All caregivers, including professional caregivers like CNAs, nurses, and others, benefit from emotional intelligence and conflict resolution skills.

While bathing and offering medications may be daily routines for professional caregivers, interacting with the elderly with behaviors or demanding families may be uncertain territory and require caregiver skills training. Responding to behaviors and performing medical care tasks in the home are mentioned as being challenging by family caregivers.

Discussions about emotional intelligence and caregiver skills that allow caregivers to manage emotions positively and relieve stress are critical to avoiding burnout. Caregiver skills of effective communication, empathizing with others, diffusing anger, and managing conflict are core competencies supporting interactions with elderly parents, care teams, and client care.

For all caregivers, the emotional aspects of caregiving become the most draining. CNAs and care staff in communities frequently express concerns about a lack of training in the area of soft skills and working with families.

Online Employee Training – Interpersonal Insights

The role of caregiving can be all-encompassing. Caregivers experience time and emotional pressures. Caregiver skills training can relieve many of these pressures by caregivers who say they don’t have time to join a support group or take a course. Lack of insight into how behaviors have a reciprocal result of negative and angry responses from elderly parents or other family members further complicates caregiving relationships.

A lack of insight into how behaviors affect others significantly contributes to poor caregiving relationships and poor collaboration with the healthcare system. Providers recognize family caregivers’ pressures but face similar issues and constraints.

These same interpersonal insights and styles apply to coworkers and teams in the workplace. When employees gain insights into how their actions and behaviors affect others, responses can be modified to change situational outcomes. Discussions about identifying emotional triggers and methods of responding to others in stressful caregiving situations are a component of Wilson’s online employee training HR caregiving program.

Managing Boundaries

Managing boundaries is another area where caregiver skills training can ease stress and burnout. Because few family caregivers discuss planning for care, adult children are swept into situations of working full-time and providing twenty or more hours of care to elderly parents each week.  Family caregivers give up friends, and social activities, become inattentive to spouses and children and sometimes leave jobs to care for elderly parents only to find themselves in the same caregiving space ten or more years later.

Professional caregivers also experience boundary issues. Without boundary and professional ethics training, caregivers can become personally and emotionally attached to clients. For example, an in-home caregiver may bring her children to the home of a client, spend hours talking on a cell phone on personal business, and ignore the needs of the client because the elderly client is hesitant to complain.

Managing care situations is another role of adult children caregivers who can create boundary issues with care providers because of a lack of personal friends outside the caregiving situation. Boundary issues have the potential to bring added stress and conflict into family and professional care situations.

Caregiving Brings HR Departments Together With Online Employee Training Caregiver Skills Programs

Human resources department responsibilities can be divided between benefits, wellness, and employee training and development. Caregiver skills, awareness, and support programs can cross these areas to engage working employee caregivers across all age groups and life situations.

Wilson tailors programs to each workplace situation. Some corporations may begin with an awareness program and later add caregiver skills and support programs. Wilson’s online webinar program, Caring for Aging Parents, is free and has accompanying slide decks, handouts, and research articles. 

©2022, 2023 Pamela D Wilson. All Rights Reserved


About Pamela Wilson

PAMELA D. WILSON, MS, BS/BA, NCG, CSA helps caregivers and aging adults solve caregiving problems and manage caregiving needs through online programs, live support groups, and an extensive caregiving library that includes articles, podcasts, videos, and webinars.

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