This year, JFS and its partners brought our Personal Care Aide (PCA) training program to an East End location, for East End residents. The home care industry is booming, and the demand and wages for PCAs will only grow.14 people graduated from the program in May – for many, it was their first graduation ceremony. Hear from the instructors and the PCAs themselves about their experiences in this video!
Posted by Jewish Family Services on Tuesday, August 27, 2019
Long before Felicia took JFS’ inaugural East End Personal Care Aide (PCA) training course, she helped care for her great-grandmother Maxine. “She lived to be 104,” Felicia said. “I always enjoy being with seniors. They have so much knowledge, and their stories are so good.” Felicia signed up for JFS’ East End PCA course to brush up on her skills. “The class was informative, and the bonds we created with our teachers and classmates will be life-long.”
The home care industry is booming as the American population ages: the US Department of Labor predicts demand for PCAs will grow 47% by 2026. In response to the trend, JFS began offering a PCA training course in 2017. Participants learn to assist seniors and adults with disabilities, with a special focus on social engagement and nutrition. The course has an 87.5% graduation rate!
The PCA training course has been a great success. But, since the beginning, JFS wanted to expand to the East End. The area is home to many seniors who need care services and many adults interested in joining the home care workforce. After two years of talking about an East End PCA course, JFS received a gift that allowed us to build partnerships and develop the new program.
The East End PCA school started with listening. The community focus groups and meetings shaped JFS’ dream into a program that could best serve its students and the East End community. The new PCA curriculum includes flexible schedules, employment skills and more time to practice. In a survey, one student wrote: “[The instructor was] very understanding of my life outside class, and compromised so that I got everything I needed.”
On May 30th, Felicia and 13 others graduated from JFS’ inaugural East End PCA class. For more than half, it was their first graduation ceremony. Most are now working at JFS in a position with opportunity for advancement. And now, more seniors and adults with disabilities in the East End can receive the care they need from PCAs in their own neighborhoods.
The East End PCA school is one of the many ways JFS transforms lives and strengthens our community. The program transforms the lives of more than the PCAs and their clients: a mother’s higher wage benefits her children; quality care improves the lives of seniors and their family caregivers; good jobs and accessible care services strengthen the entire community.
The next East End PCA course begins in October. To learn more about JFS’ PCA program, contact Becki Mann at 282-5644 ext. 277.