Family First Home Companions has been very busy this month providing continuing education to our professional caregivers and administrative team.  We also hosted a corporate volunteer program with Long Island Cares to donate food for families in need for Thanksgiving.

In honor of National Family Caregiver Month, Family First’s caregivers are receiving a round of training classes on a variety of topics including safety, aging and depression, dementia and communication, and caregiving basics.  Our caregivers are learning about identifying safety hazards around the home, fall prevention, how to recognize symptoms of depression, communication difficulties in people living with dementia, how to understand dementia-related behaviors, how to improve communication with a person living with dementia, and basic caregiving skills such as, nutrition and meal preparation, bacteria and infection control, medication reminders, and observing and reporting.  These training classes are our way of offering ongoing skills building for our caregivers and keeping them aware of issues that affect older adults.

Family First’s administrative team also received training this month on upgrades to our applicant screening and hiring procedures.  Screening and hiring qualified staff is a top priority for Family First Home Companions.  Our screening process starts with interviewing caregivers either on the phone or in our office to understand their experience, training, and background.  After the interview, applicants are invited to attend our training class in our office.  Our training class includes learning about client care services, home safety, identifying and addressing medical emergencies, dementia care, and caregiving procedures.  After the training class, applicants must pass an exam to demonstrate comprehension and understanding of the training class curriculum.

Once the training class and exam are complete, the applicant’s employment references and background check are processed.  These steps check for dates of employment, past position held and responsibilities, eligibility for rehire with the past employer, the applicant’s residential history, driving record, criminal record search, and social security number.  Once the background check is complete and past employers are verified, the applicant is reviewed one last time for the final hiring decision.

Family First closed its office on Friday, November 20th for its annual corporate volunteer program.  This year we partnered with Long Island Cares to provide food to families in need for Thanksgiving.  Family First’s team went grocery shopping together, packed up the food, and brought it to LI Cares for donation.  LI Cares provides millions of pounds of food to families in need.  They also provide education on hunger, food drives, a pet pantry, emergency services, job training, children’s nutrition programs, and veterans’ services.  Family First Home Companions is so proud to have had the opportunity to help contribute to LI Cares’ mission and cause.