New members join the Volunteer Care Specialist team at One Source — Empowering Caregivers in Grass Valley | TheUnion.com

New members join the Volunteer Care Specialist team at One Source — Empowering Caregivers in Grass Valley

Donna Raibley
Special to The Union

The new graduates went through a 22-hour training which included: Privacy Practices and Federal HIPAA Compliance, Elder & Dependent Adult Abuse, Disability Etiquette, Falls Prevention and many more. The graduates were also CPR certified and recieved a Graduation Certificate of Completion.

With November being National Family Caregivers Month, One Source — Empowering Caregivers (OSEC) would like to recognize, celebrate and honor those who are caregiving for a loved one.

One Source — Empowering Caregivers just completed its third Volunteer Care Specialist Training program Nov. 4 with 10 new graduates

"We are ready to place each one of our new Volunteer Care Specialists with one of the many caregivers who are patiently waiting for some respite," said Volunteer Coordinator Harriet Totten.

"We are seeing more caregivers step forward and ask for help," said Totten. "This is a very positive thing. Individuals are starting to understand their own value as caregivers. They are realizing they do not have to provide this support alone. One Source — Empowering Caregivers is here to help for free."

It can be wonderful. It is often exhausting. And with so much hype, it is often disappointing.

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All of the new graduates went through a thorough screening process with TB testing, background history check, LiveScan fingerprinting, reference checks, and then attended a 22-hour, in-depth training.

The comprehensive training took place at the organization's office located at 563 Brunswick Road, Suite 11, Grass Valley, on three consecutive Saturdays, Oct. 21, Oct. 28, and Nov. 4, Totten said.

Training included subjects such as Privacy Practices and Federal HIPAA Compliance, Elder & Dependent Adult Abuse, Disability Etiquette, Falls Prevention and many more. All who graduated received a Graduation Certificate of Completion as a Volunteer Care Specialist and were CPR certified.

Volunteer Care Specialists

When asked what she thought about the training program, Patty O'Connor said, "The information and great energy that is offered in the delivery of this program is excellent! They have thought of everything. Insightful, compassionate and essential ways for all of us to easily absorb."

"I became involved initially because I need to provide service to my community," O'Connor said, "and I have personally witnessed how much caregiving affects the caregiver, how exhausted they become."

One of the men involved in training, Jim Plakos, said, "Absolutely outstanding! I am getting so much out of this personally. I thought I was coming here to go out into the community to give back, but I am getting much more than I thought."

The second male Volunteer Care Specialist, George Grist (Hap Hazzard, from KVMR), said, "Really enjoyable, multifaceted, many aspects being covered. I got involved because I am curious about people and their stories intrigue me. I am deeply into the life of shared humanity in times of need."

The need and the mission

Instructor and author Elizabeth Rawson stated the reason why she has continued to support the training program: "It is so needed! The biggest thing we are seeing in the caregiving arena is that the care recipients are living longer due to new procedures, medicines and so forth. Therefore, a caregiver is having to care for their loved ones much longer."

"We can't wait until the last six months or year to help them," Rawson said. "We have to be able to help now, so they can continue to provide care to their loved ones at home.

"Caregivers seem to be buried in heap of healthcare. One Source – Empowering Caregivers bumps them to the top!"

The mission of One Source — Empowering Caregivers is to improve the quality of life for caregivers who are caring for their loved ones at home by providing free respite to caregivers and their families in our community

What better way to honor caregivers in our community during National Family Caregivers Month than to put 10 more trained Volunteer Care Specialists into the community?

Donna Raibley is executive director of One Source-Empowering Caregivers, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

Just the Facts

WHAT: Free, non-medical, companion respite care for caregivers.

WHO: One Source — Empowering Caregivers Volunteer Care Specialists

WHERE: 563 Brunswick Dr., Grass Valley.

WHEN: Respite provided up to four hours a week

COST: Free

INFO: Contact Donna Raibley at 530-205-9514 (office) or 530-802-6154 (cell), email at draibley@empoweringcaregivers.org, or visit https://empoweringcaregivers.org