Area senior citizens are finding rewarding “encore” careers as Certified Homemaker Home Health Aides after completion of a 76-hour training program at Sussex County Community College (SCCC).
These “non-traditional” students praise SCCC’s instructors’ abilities to help adult learners feel at ease returning to school.
“Many of the seniors who have provided care to family members or neighbors, find it is a natural path to attain certification as a Home Health Aide and extend the assistance to others,” said Dawn Latincsics, B.S., CSP, Program Coordinator of the Home Health Aide program at SCCC. “And home care agencies are thrilled to employ these mature individuals, who bring life experience, reliability and dedication to their jobs.”
Non-traditional students with bachelor’s and master’s degrees have completed the training, citing a career goal of personal satisfaction and a sense of giving back. Latincsics noted that for the seniors, choosing to train and work as a CHHA is a “choice of the heart.”
One such senior from the most recent graduating class is Consuelo Erickson Suby of Columbia, Warren County. She has worked with seniors for many years. The certification program allows her to have a more well-rounded understanding of the population she works with.
“I was able to enforce many of the things I already know before, but the program gave me a broader overview,” said Suby. “I have always liked working with seniors and this wonderful program helps me do even better at my job.”
Another senior who has gone through the program, Brian Blanchard, noted, “ I’m an older person. I get senior citizen discounts at some places. I’m part of a difficult to re-employ demographic but I learned new skills and entered a new field of employment and found a fascinating job with a great company, right here in Sussex County, where I live.”
Naturally, the program is not just for seniors. In addition to Suby, those earning certification from the New Jersey Board of Nursing this past summer were Linda Decker, Michelle Denmon, Samantha Lutz, Theresa Montagnino, Judy Richards, Linda Rivera, Kathleen Slater, and Denise Woodard.
Certified Home-maker Home Health Aides work for licensed home care and hospice agencies. SCCC holds Job Fairs with local home care and hospice agencies each semester to facilitate employment matches.
The 76-hour class consists of 60 hours of classroom time and 16 hours in a nursing lab learning personal care skills. Sussex County Community College is next offering the class 10/31/15 through 12/19/15 conveniently on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings from 6-9:30 p.m. and Saturdays 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. For more information contact Dawn Latincsics at 973-300-6573.