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Direct Care Workers Learn New Skills to Help People With Dementia—Thanks to TEC!

Everyone is benefiting from the new initiative called TEC—training and employment for caregivers. 

TEC is the result of collaboration among the Wisconsin Long-Term Care Workforce Alliance, the Wisconsin Personal Services Association, and other stakeholders dedicated to ensuring consistent training standards for direct care workers.

The TEC initiative is funded by a Wisconsin Fast Forward grant awarded in 2014 by the WI Department of Workforce Development. Goals for the multi-year project are:

  • Direct care competency training based on state requirements for agencies offering Medical Assistance personal care will provide portable, consistent training statewide.
  • Training will reduce turnover among direct care workers.
  • Dementia training will allow for care workers to acquire additional employment opportunities.
  • The Alzheimer’s Association will provide evidence-based dementia training to meet growing needs and the state’s expectations.
  • A total of over 1,000 workers will be trained, offering a path to increase earnings and reduce public assistance utilization.
  • A person with Alzheimer’s or a related dementia will receive care from a trained and knowledgeable caregiver.

How is everyone benefiting from TEC?  

Direct care workers are building their skills by getting specialized training to care for people with dementia. This training is free to them and adds to the caregivers’ set of direct care competencies. These competencies support the care worker in serving consumers now and increases their employability in the future.  

So far, 87 direct care workers have gone through the training, with the goal of training 1,000 workers total. How do we acheive that 1,000 goal?  

That’s where the trainers come in. Organizations that employ direct care workers are sending staff to train-the-trainer sessions. So far, 56 people have completed training and are starting to train their current—and future—care workers.  

Think of the reach! TEC can and will meet the goal of training 1,000 direct care workers.

Finally, more individuals with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia can benefit from receiving care provided by a trained and knowledgeable caregiver. And the families are benefiting from peace of mind and confidence in their loved one’s care workers.  

Collaborating to address the challenges

We know the current challenges for the direct care workforce:

  • Inconsistent training statewide
  • 35-50% workforce turnover
  • Low wages and less than full-time hours
  • 65+ population will double by 2035
  • Workforce projected to grow by only 4%
  • Need for evidence-based specialized training to serve Wisconsin’s most vulnerable population

Thanks to TEC and to the support of the Wisconsin Fast Forward grant program, we are starting to address these challenges.

And thanks to these participating stakeholders, we’re making real progress:   

Alzheimer’s Association, Southeastern Wisconsin Chapter
Community Living Alliance
Greater Wisconsin Agency on Aging Resources
The Human Service Center
Lori Knapp Companies
MCFI Home Care
Society’s Assets
Wisconsin Assisted Living Association
Wisconsin Long-Term Care Workforce Alliance
Wisconsin Personal Services Association
Wisconsin Technical College System

To find out more:

Read more about TEC

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Alliance Board Member Todd Costello.