Building Better Caregivers Direct Care Worker

Building Better Caregivers (CalGrows DCW)

Building Better Caregivers Online Workshop 

Professional caregivers are becoming more and more important to the healthcare system. They support those who cannot care for themselves, and make sure patients and doctors understand each other better. The free Building Better CaregiversⓇ program is a testament to our commitment to caregiver support, designed to equip caregivers with the tools they need to thrive both personally and professionally. This 6-week, evidence-based, peer-to-peer education and support program has been crafted to address the many needs of caregivers. 

Taking care of your health as a caregiver or direct care worker takes a toll – getting the support you need is important. So if you’re feeling tired, stressed, lonely or depressed, support is available to you. Being a caregiver can be hard, and it can be hard on your health, too. Whatever you’re facing, the Building Better Caregivers program can help you build the strength you need to take better care of others and yourself. 


Who Can Enroll In Building Better Caregivers

Building Better Caregivers is a free online program to help direct paid caregivers caring for someone with dementia, Alzheimer’s, other cognitive impairments, or any other serious injury or illness. The caregiver and the person being cared for need to be a resident of California. This includes:

  • Home care aides
  • Care coordinators or care managers
  • Dementia/Alzheimer’s care specialists
  • Non-IHSS affiliated, personal care assistants


Exploring the Landscape of Online Caregiving Support 

California knows how important caregivers are to health care, so they’ve created online help for caregivers. It’s made to support caregivers all over the state in different ways. 

Programs help caregivers learn important skills to take care of themselves and the people they look after. This training is important because caregiving can be hard on both the body and mind, affecting how well caregivers can care for others. With Building Better Caregivers, you can get the support you need, when you need it. You can: 

  • Log on when you want to in the morning, the afternoon, evening, or whenever works for you.
  • Participate from any computer or tablet with an internet connection.
  • Join a group of 25 caregivers in each workshop, with new sessions posted each week for six weeks.
  • Stay connected after the workshop by participating in an online community of Building Better Caregivers graduates. 
  • Receive incentives of up to $6,000 for eligible paid caregivers thanks to the CalGrows program. This program is part of the California Department of Aging (CDA) and was designed to support caregivers of older adults and people with disabilities by improving their skills through in-person classes and online training courses, 1:1 career coaching, and rewards payments. 


Online Caregiver Workshop


Benefits of Participating in an Online Caregiver Workshop

Participating in an online caregiver workshop offers many benefits for caregivers. Flexibility and Accessibility: Online workshops allow participants to engage with the content at their preferred time and pace, making it easier to balance caregiving responsibilities, work, and personal life. Accessibility is greatly improved, as caregivers can participate from any location with an internet connection, eliminating the need for travel.

Peer Support and Shared Experiences: One of the most significant advantages of participating in an online caregiver workshop is the opportunity to connect with other caregivers. Sharing experiences and solutions in a supportive environment fosters a sense of community and reduces feelings of isolation.

Comprehensive Caregiver Education: Building Better Caregivers offers a wide range of topics tailored to caregivers’ needs. These include managing stress, effective communication techniques, critical medical/nursing tasks, and navigating the healthcare system, all to ensure caregivers are well-prepared to handle their responsibilities.

Improved Caregiver and Care Recipient Health: By equipping caregivers with the necessary tools and knowledge, online workshops contribute to better health outcomes for both caregivers and their loved ones. Caregivers learn to take better care of themselves while providing high-quality care, reducing the likelihood of burnout and improving the quality of life for both parties.

Cost-Effectiveness: Online caregiving workshops can be more cost-effective compared to in-person training sessions. Digital platforms eliminate the need for physical materials and venues, making high-quality caregiver education and support more accessible and affordable for a wider audience.

Evidence-Based Curriculum: Programs like Building Better Caregivers are based on scientific research and have been proven to be effective. This ensures that caregivers are receiving the most current and practical advice, which has been validated through rigorous evaluation.


Understanding the Unique Needs of California Caregivers

In California the needs of caregivers are very different depending on where they live, from rural areas to big cities like Los Angeles. This means support and training for caregivers must be carefully tailored to fit different cultures, economies, and situations throughout the state.

There are differences in money and resources across California, and this affects caregivers too. Some caregivers have lots of help and resources, while others struggle to find even basic support. It’s important that training for caregivers is adjusted so everyone can get good education and help, no matter how much money they have.

California is also a place with many cultures and languages, so caregiver training needs to be sensitive to these differences. This means offering materials in various languages and making sure the training is relevant and respectful to everyone.

Lastly, caregivers in California deal with many different health issues, from conditions that affect older people to chronic diseases and mental health problems. Training for caregivers needs to be thorough, teaching them not just basic skills but also how to care for specific health conditions.


Comparing Online vs. In-Person Caregiving Workshops

When looking at training for caregivers, you can choose between online programs and in-person workshops. 


Online Caregiving Workshops

Accessibility: One of the most significant advantages of online workshops, such as Building Better Caregivers, is their accessibility. Caregivers can log in from anywhere at any time, removing the barrier of geographic location or the need to travel, which can be particularly beneficial for those in remote areas or with limited mobility.

Anonymity and Comfort: Engaging from the comfort of one’s home allows participants to maintain a level of anonymity. This can encourage more open sharing of experiences and feelings, fostering a supportive community environment online.


In-Person Caregiving Workshops

Personal Interaction: In-person workshops offer direct, face-to-face interaction, which can be invaluable for building a sense of community and immediate support among participants. This personal connection can enhance learning and provide emotional comfort.

Hands-On Learning: Certain caregiving skills, particularly those involving physical tasks or emergency procedures, may be better learned through hands-on demonstrations and practice that can be immediately corrected and personalized by instructors.

While in-person caregiving workshops may work for some, it can be difficult to find the time. However, online caregiving workshops offer substantial advantages, particularly in terms of accessibility and comfort. 

Online workshops present a cost-effective solution for caregivers by eliminating travel expenses and providing digital access to materials. They offer exceptional flexibility, allowing participants to engage in learning at their own convenience and select topics that specifically address their needs. Additionally, these workshops provide resources, such as video tutorials and articles, and chat groups, enhancing the learning experience. This combination makes online workshops an invaluable and convenient educational tool for caregivers and direct care workers. 


User Experience: Testimonials from California Caregivers

Here is what some of the Building Better Caregivers participants have shared about their experiences:

William’s Story: William has always been drawn to caring for others. But getting attached to his patients and their well-being can get emotionally draining. When they don’t fare well or express difficult emotions, William struggles not to take it personally, and this can affect his own moods negatively.

Tina’s Story: Tina has strong bonds with her clients and no regrets about making caregiving her life’s work. Still, the long days and demanding nature of her work keeps from spending time with family and keeping up with personal responsibilities.

Melissa’s Story: Despite the many bright spots of her job, Melissa finds the stresses of caregiving can take a mental and physical toll on her. At the end of her day, she finds herself exhausted. Without the energy to find time to do things for herself, she feels even more tired at the start of the next day.


Frequently Asked Questions 

Who is eligible to participate in the Building Better Caregivers Online Workshop in California?

Any individual who is currently serving as a direct care worker in California is eligible to participate. This encompasses caregivers for individuals with a variety of health conditions, including but not limited to chronic diseases, disabilities, and veterans with special health needs.


How long does the workshop last?

The free Building Better Caregivers program spans six consecutive weeks, with participants engaging in weekly sessions and activities that are designed to fit into their busy caregiving schedules.


Is there any cost to participate in the workshop?

No, there is no cost for participants. The workshop is offered free of charge to eligible caregivers in California, aiming to support them in their caregiving journey without adding financial burden.


How is the workshop structured?

The workshop is structured as an interactive online program that combines educational content, weekly assignments, and peer support. Participants engage in group discussions, share experiences, and learn from each other in a secure and supportive online environment.


What topics are covered in the Building Better Caregivers Online Workshop?

The workshop covers a wide range of topics essential for caregiving, including effective communication techniques, strategies for managing stress, dealing with difficult emotions, problem-solving, navigating healthcare systems, and creating personal health plans for both the caregiver and the care recipient.


Can I participate in the workshop from anywhere in California?

Yes, the online nature of the workshop allows participants to engage from any location in California, as long as they have access to the internet. This flexibility ensures that caregiving individuals across the state can benefit without the need to travel.


Do I need any special technology to participate in the online workshop?

Participants will need a computer, tablet, or smartphone with internet access to participate in the workshop. The platform is designed to be user-friendly, and technical support is available to assist anyone experiencing difficulties.


How does the workshop support caregivers of veterans?

The workshop places a special emphasis on addressing the unique challenges faced by caregivers of veterans, such as understanding and managing PTSD, navigating veteran health resources, and connecting with specific support services for veterans.


Are there specific sessions for caregivers of people with dementia?

Yes, the workshop includes sessions specifically designed for caregivers of individuals with dementia. These sessions focus on communication strategies, managing behavioral changes, and providing safe and effective care.


How can the workshop help me manage stress?

Building Better Caregivers equips participants with practical tools and techniques for managing stress, including relaxation exercises, mindfulness practices, and strategies for balancing caregiving responsibilities with self-care. These resources are aimed at enhancing the overall well-being of caregivers, reducing burnout, and promoting resilience.

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