Training for memory care staff

Operating a memory care community is one of the most difficult yet rewarding things to do related to resident care. The residents within this community typically have behaviors related to dementia such as, wandering, memory loss, incontinence, incoherent speech, loss of motor function, and many other symptoms. These people need specialized care by staff trained specifically with how to assist their needs. Check out the following regulation provided by CCLD:

87707 TRAINING REQUIREMENTS IF ADVERTISING DEMENTIA SPECIAL CARE, PROGRAMMING, AND ENVIRONMENTS 

(a) Licensees who advertise, promote, or otherwise hold themselves out as providing special care, programming, and/or environments for residents with dementia or related disorders shall ensure that all direct care staff, described in Section 87706(a)(1), who provide care to residents with dementia, meet the following training requirements:

(1) Direct care staff shall complete six hours of orientation specific to the care of residents with dementia within the first four weeks of working in the facility.

(A) This orientation shall be repeated if either of the following occurs:

  1. An employee returns to work for the same licensee after a break in service of more than 180 consecutive calendar days; or
  2. An employee goes to work for another licensee to provide dementia special care.

(B) This orientation shall be separate from other training and be exclusively on the care of residents with dementia.

(C) Various methods of instruction may be used, including, but not limited to, presenters knowledgeable about dementia; video instruction tapes; interactive material; books; and/or other materials approved by organizations or individuals specializing in dementia as specified in Section 87707(a)(2)(C).

  1. Instruction may include up to two hours of mentoring and hands-on training from direct care staff who have completed six hours of orientation specific to the care of residents with dementia and eight hours of in-service training on the subject of serving residents with dementia as specified in Sections 87707(a)(1) and (2).

(D) The licensee shall maintain in the personnel records documentation on the orientation that includes the date(s), the hours provided, the names of staff in attendance, and the method(s) of instruction used.

(2) Direct care staff shall complete at least eight hours of in-service training on the subject of serving residents with dementia within 12 months of working in the facility and in each succeeding 12-month period. Direct care staff hired as of July 3, 2004 shall complete the eight hours of in-service training within 12 months of that date and in each succeeding 12- month period.

(A) A minimum of two of the following training topics shall be covered annually, and all topics shall be covered within a three-year period:

  1. Effects of medications on the behavior of residents with dementia;
  2. Common problems, such as wandering, aggression, and inappropriate sexual behavior;
  3. Positive therapeutic interventions and activities such as exercise, sensory stimulation, activities of daily living, and social, recreational and rehabilitative activities.
  4. Communication skills (resident/staff relations);
  5. Promoting resident dignity, independence, individuality, privacy and choice; and
  6. End of life issues, including hospice.

(B) Training may be provided at the facility or offsite and may include a combination of observation and practical application.

(C) The training shall be developed by, or in consultation with, an individual(s) or organization(s) with expertise in dementia care and with knowledge on the training topic areas specified in Section 87707(a)(2)(A).

  1. Examples of organizations that specialize in dementia care include, but are not limited to: the Alzheimer’s Association, Alzheimer’s Disease Diagnostic and Treatment Centers affiliated with the University of California, Family Caregiver Alliance and Caregiver Resource Centers, American Society on Aging, colleges and universities, and individuals with educational and professional qualifications specific to dementia. a. If the consultant and trainer are the same person(s), the documentation requirements specified in Sections 87707(a)(2)(D) and (F) shall both be met.

(D) The licensee shall maintain the following documentation for the consultant(s) described in Section 87707(a)(2)(C):

  1. Name, address, and telephone number;
  2. Date(s) when the consultation was provided;
  3. Organization affiliation (if any), as specified in Section 87707(a)(2)(C), and/or educational and professional qualifications specific to dementia; and
  4. The training topics, specified in Section 87707(a)(2)(A), for which consultation was provided.

(E) All trainers shall meet the following education and experience requirements:

  1. A minimum of eight hours of certifiable continuing education or three-semester units, or the equivalent, from an accredited educational institution, on topics relevant to caring for individuals with dementia.
  2. Examples of acceptable instruction include, but are not limited to, classes in aging, gerontology, geriatrics, and/or psychosocial needs of the elderly.
  3. One of the following experience requirements:
  4. Current employment as a consultant with expertise in dementia care, as specified in Section 87707(a)(2)(C).
  5. Two years full-time experience, or the equivalent, within the last four years, as an RCFE administrator or as a direct care provider for individuals with dementia.

(F) The licensee shall maintain the following documentation on the trainer(s) described in Section 87707(a)(2)(E):

  1. Name, address, and telephone number;
  2. Topics/subject matter taught;
  3. Dates/hours of training provided;
  4. Notation that indicates which of the criteria for experience the trainer meets, as specified in Section 87707(a)(2)(E)2., and maintain verification of qualifying criteria; and
  5. Proof of completion of the educational requirements, as specified in Section 87707(a)(2)(E)1., which may include the following:
  6. If the educational hours/units are obtained through an accredited educational institution, documentation shall include a copy of a transcript or official grade slip showing a passing mark.
  7. If the educational hours/units are obtained through continuing education, documentation shall include a transcript or official grade slip showing a passing mark, if applicable, or a Certificate of Completion.

(G) The documentation required in Sections 87707(a)(2)(D) and (F) shall be retained for at least three years following the date consultation services/training were provided.

  1. This documentation shall be available to the licensing agency to inspect, audit, copy, and remove (if necessary for copying) upon demand during normal business hours as specified in Section 87755(c).

(H) The licensee shall maintain in the personnel records documentation on the in-service training required in Section 87707(a)(2) for direct care staff and include the training topic(s) covered, as required in Section 87707(a)(2)(A).

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