September 2, 2013

Off Campus: Workers can train now as demand for geriatric care surges

Plenty of educational and other resources exist for meeting the complex needs of our aging state.

By NANCY RICHESON

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MORE INFORMATION on the strengths needed for providers of geriatric care: http://bit.ly/15wADoF

Care planning and coordination across the care spectrum (including end-of-life care).

Interdisciplinary and team care.

Caregiver support.

Health care systems and benefits.

If you are a health and human service worker in Maine who is working with older adults, consider finding the resources and educational opportunities needed to meet these competencies.

Some suggested resources would be through educational opportunities at work, professional organizations, community agencies and programs, local universities, and keeping up with your trade journals.

The biggest impact the reader can have is a commitment to honestly reviewing their own strengths and determining where fine-tuning is needed. From this critical analysis of one's strengths, one can plan one's continuing education.

In 2012, the University of Southern Maine responded to the need for increased education and training in geriatric care by developing an online gerontology certificate, focused on meeting the core competencies developed by the Partnership for Health in Aging.

We are approaching our second year with enthusiasm and much interest by matriculated students enrolled in health and human services degree programs. However, we would like to reach out to those currently working in the field who find that they need to advance their competencies to meet the complex needs of our aging state.

Nancy Richeson is a professor of recreation and leisure studies at the University of Southern Maine's Portland campus. To learn more about USM's online gerontology certificate program, visit http://bit.ly/19RaHJv or email Richeson at richeson@usm.maine.edu.

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