177672 National Dissemination of the Aging and Communications Training (ACT) Project

Monday, October 27, 2008

Patricia M. Alt, PhD , Towson University, Towson, MD
Russell M. Morgan, DrPH , SPRY Foundation, President, Chevy Chase, MD
Tracy Gibbs , Baltimore City Commission on Aging and Retirement Education, Baltimore, MD
Robert L. Bertera, DrPH, CHES , Bertera Associates, Silver Spring, MD
Elizabeth M. Bertera, MSW, PhD , School of Social Work, Howard University, Washington, DC
The ACT project was designed to enhance the professionalism of direct care employees and volunteers; enabling them to better serve independent-living older adults across an array of ages, cultures, mental capacities, and socioeconomic levels. This project was planned and implemented by the SPRY Foundation, in partnership with Baltimore City's Commission on Aging and Retirement Education (CARE) and the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4A), with Retirement Research Foundation funding. Building on key community informant interviews and stakeholder focus groups, and on current literature on aging, the training curriculum was developed with particular focus on skills for communicating with older adults and stress management. After a field test with three types of direct care workers in Baltimore, thirteen master trainers from around the country were selected and trained in the curriculum at the national n4A meeting in July, 2007. They then returned to their jurisdictions and were asked to train at least twenty more trainers in their states, in hopes that the curriculum would be widely used. It was remarkable that the group achieved 88% of their goal by the end of the grant-funded data collection in January, 2008, and have continued the training beyond that point. The results of the trainer-training process will be discussed, along with the potential for future distribution of this approach beyond the “borders” of Area Agencies on Aging and/or public organizations

Learning Objectives:
1. Recognize the potential impact of a communications curriculum for direct care workers in aging services. 2. Describe the ACT Project's development and dissemination. 3. Discuss the potential impact of future distribution of this approach.

Keywords: Aging, Community-Based Care

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I was the Project Director for the study reported.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

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