The training center is located at our corporate office in Towson, Maryland. It’s designed to look like a senior clients apartment and includes furniture, flooring, different layouts and exposes caregivers to real-life situations that would occur in a clients home.
Senior Helpers knows that the key to exceptional care is exceptional caregiver training. That’s why we’ve invested in a senior apartment prototype to provide training that’s as realistic as possible to real-world situations.
Jennifer Schuh, Area General Manager for Senior Helpers explains that the training center is built into the heart of our corporate office and “is designed to be truly reminiscent of the way a senior home might be set up.”
We expose caregivers-in-training to the ways in which flooring contributes to safety in the home. Our training center features four different types of flooring: two types of carpet, hardwood and tile. Even the stairs contribute to an important training opportunity, as one side of the staircase features wooden steps, while the other side is carpeted. Caregivers-in-training practice maneuvering equipment throughout this space.
“There’s a living room, bedroom, bathroom, kitchen and a hallway with stairs,” said Shuh. “When you come through the front door, you’re in the living room, connected to the kitchen. Then you pass through a hallway with stairs that lead to a bathroom and bedroom. This allows us to train our caregivers with real-life scenarios so that we can provide the best care.”
“This lets us train in different scenarios with different kinds of equipment,” Schuh said. “We can see how different kinds of equipment such as walkers or transport chairs transition from one flooring to another. This is a key safety component.”
“The training center is a huge benefit to the brand because it encourages best practices,” Shuh said. Our caregivers gain a high level of confidence going into the field because they’ve observed first hand what a client is most likely going to need and what they can provide as a caregiver.”
The training center also provides a critical opportunity to identify and build on any caregiver skill sets that need to be developed.
“If a caregiver needs to develop a particular skill, [the training center] gives us an opportunity to work with them by developing and perfecting that skill,” Schuh said. “It also gives the caregiver confidence because they’re being exposed to the terminology and information that will be referenced in client care plans.”
We genuinely care and are deeply invested in caregiver training, client wellness and franchisee success. The corporate leadership team positions franchisees for success, Shuh emphasized just how robust Senior Helpers’ training and support really is:
“One of our core values as an organization is continuous advancement, so we make training ongoing beyond just the initial phase. Our training is step-by-step from day one. On the very first day, our franchisees are assigned a franchise operations manager. The franchise operations manager works with them for four to five weeks before they attend a 10-day formal training at the corporate office,” Schuh said. “We also have an annual conference that provides training for our entire system, an online caregiver training platform with several hundred training programs, and a remote-access staff training platform.”
Senior Helpers plans to introduce comparable training facilities in up to three corporate locations down the road, and is also considering placing prototypes in some of the franchise system’s larger offices.