Academy of Caregiver Excellence

The Norma Smiles Academy of Caregiver Excellence was established to address the caregiver crisis facing our nation today. We know that a shortage of caregivers negatively impacts the quality of care that our loved ones receive. At Norma Smiles, we seek strengthen the eldercare workforce and improve the quality of care available to our elders.

We use a learner-centered approach to our educational opportunities to ensure that our graduates have not just memorized the steps of personal care tasks but feel prepared to take on the challenges that arise in a day in the life of a caregiver.

We have programs for new caregivers, seasoned professionals, family caregivers and also employers of the eldercare workforce.

Called to Caregive (New Caregiver Program)

We address the eldercare workforce shortage by offering a unique program that offers “paid to learn” training to those interested in beginning a career in eldercare.  Whether you are just entering the workforce, a family caregiver returning to the workforce, or in a career transition situation, we want to present to you the opportunity to choose caregiving as a rewarding career.

Our entry level program is designed to provide not only the state-required initial training for a personal care worker (20 hours of training in Colorado) but also a variety of additional topics and experiences that will ensure our graduates are prepared to enter the workforce as top-notch, high quality, compassionate caregivers.

To learn more about our entry-level, paid-to-learn, Called to Caregive program, click here.

Career Advancement (Seasoned Caregivers)

At Norma Smiles, we understand the caregiver burnout often stems from lack of career advancement opportunities.  Caregiving is challenging but rewarding work.  We have programs to help seasoned caregivers advance their careers in areas of special interest.  We have certifications available in Dementia Care and in End of Life Care.  We also offer free training on general care topics such as transfers, bed baths, and how to handle difficult situations.

Family and Family Caregiver Support

Statistics show that a significant area of stress for family caregivers is that they are often put in situations that require knowledge of how to handle medical tasks for their loved one.  This can be intimidating, scary, and overwhelming. Norma Smiles offers access to hundreds of skills videos to teach family caregivers how to handle these tasks and the confidence and encouragement that they can perform these tasks well for their loved ones.

In addition to access to skills videos, Norma Smiles offers the following workshops for family members involved in the care of a senior loved one:

  1. How to Navigate and Advocate – As a family member of an elder, one of the most critical roles you will play is advocate.  We will teach you what you need to know to ensure your loved one is receiving great care.  We will offer tips on evaluating care facilities, help on understanding patients rights, and how to identify and report red flags in your loved ones care.  We will teach you about advanced directives, power of attorney, and other important documents.  We will offer suggestions on communicating with care staff.
  2. How to interview and select home care providers – We tend to not seek help until there is a crisis and then we find ourselves at the mercy of who is available to provide care.  This workshop helps you go from reactive to proactive in your search for good caregivers.  We provide tips, where to look, cost factors, interview questions and all sorts of other helpful tools.

Eldercare Service Providers (Employers of Caregivers)

High Quality Caregivers are the heartbeat of any eldercare facility or home care agency. The quality of staff makes or breaks a company in this competitive environment. Yet agencies and facilities are struggling to hire and retain high quality care.  Norma Smiles Caregiver Selection and Retention Services provide solutions to help these issues.  To learn more about our workshops for employers, click here.