How online continuing education for social workers is improving care for the elderly


Online learning has become an important part of every worker’s professional development. About 40% of the world’s richest companies use it to train their members while 80% of employers have used the method since 2011.

Online learning

Private and government agencies have found that e-learning courses can help produce better employees, including staff who care for older people in all settings. Unsurprisingly, the e-learning market reached US$315 billion in 2021, and industry experts estimate that the industry will experience a compound annual growth rate of 20% from 2022 to 2028. As a result, states and industry associations have accreditation processes for online training for agencies, including one for personal care aide or PCA training.

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Whether you’re considering becoming a PCA or already working as one, find out how online training for agencies works and how it can help boost senior care.

How does online training for agencies work?

Online training, otherwise known as e-learning, is an automated teaching method that uses electronic resources, digital devices, and in most cases, the Internet. In most contexts, online training also requires the installation of software on mobile devices or the desktop computer.

With it, learners can access learning resources and assess their learning skills with quizzes and exams before moving on to a more advanced section. Online training for agencies can be embedded with text and audio while some have videos and images. In addition, learners can access it via an Internet connection or a closed network. The first method is often employed in most distance education contexts. At the same time, the latter may be more suitable for aged care agencies where staff members need to enter their username and password to access various training modules for providing care to elderly people from quality.

How online training for agencies is helping improve care for the elderly

Online training for agencies is very beneficial for employees in the aged care sector, who expect an increase in demand for their services. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the industry will need 33% more personal care assistants from 2020 to 2030, or about 599,800 people per year. A rise in the elderly population continues to drive growing demand for PCAs, and agencies can leverage custom online training software to improve care delivery.

Below is a list of reasons why online training can improve employee skills in caring for elderly patients:

  1. Online training offers flexibility

Whether you are a full-time student or working while pursuing a course and certification, flexibility is paramount for individuals. Online education is an attractive option for students who can’t or don’t want to spend hours commuting to a classroom or attending classes on weekends.

For example, learners with full-time jobs can complete their tasks and focus on the online training module when they are ready and have no pending tasks. Students with personal responsibilities can do the same.

Because they can access the course at their own pace and at their own pace, learners can better absorb the lessons instead of being distracted. It is also useful that online training can integrate different types of media, targeting all participants, regardless of their learning style.

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Additionally, online training for agencies can be tailored to the different contexts staff may find themselves in. For example, PCAs can work in a variety of settings such as hospitals, care homes, and other similar establishments. However, their services may also be needed in private homes and communities, which may require different skill sets and standards of care.

  1. It’s learner-centered

An e-learning platform can be customized according to the needs of a business or the department that depends on it. So, online trainings for aged care agencies can have their learning system based on their target patients or specialties. It can also be changed depending on the participants they hope to have.

Basic training can be offered during the onboarding process while current team members can access a separate module for advanced employees who wish to improve their professional skills. That said, PCAs and caregivers, new and old, can take different e-learning courses tailored to their knowledge and skills. Armed with proper training, caregivers gain the confidence to administer adequate attention to aging patients, especially older adults with chronic or special illnesses.

  1. It’s available

Unlike traditional training methods where learning is confined to the four corners of the training center, online training is accessible everywhere. Caregivers and caregivers who need additional resources to provide quality care can download the app on any mobile device.

This is essential, especially if they are assigned to a graveyard shift and supervisors may not be there to help them. While in-person coaching is crucial, around-the-clock access to valuable resources can give caregivers the confidence to handle difficult situations.

  1. It facilitates better learning

Research has found that social interaction is vital in learning. These interactions can take place through monitoring, peer-to-peer sharing, reciprocal teaching, coaching, observation and others. As with group work or one-on-one sessions with online training facilitators for agencies, engaging in discussions with others helps learners understand lessons, improve their reasoning, and capture insights. relevant achievements by sharing their experiences and concerns.

Online courses can also boost learners’ memory retention due to the different types of media and real-life examples to expose concepts and principles. Instead of spending time listening to hours of in-person lectures and taking notes, staff can focus on learning. In addition, they can test their knowledge on the subject by taking quizzes and revising their answers as many times as possible.

  1. It’s updated

E-learning and the elderly care industry are both highly regulated industries. The state, industry, and professional associations often establish requirements that agencies must meet to obtain or renew their licenses. One of these requirements is to have qualified personnel who have undergone training and possess the required certifications.

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Senior facility managers can monitor staff online training performance with online training for agencies. Additionally, as more and more medical information is released on common health problems of older adults such as Alzheimer’s disease, cancer and dementia, standards of care may also be revised.

As online training platforms are evolving, agencies can keep up with these changes and deliver updated learning modules to their students, along with scenario-based lessons. Healthcare facilities are assured that PCAs or caregivers are highly trained and can deliver quality care based on updated guidelines and national regulations.

What are the requirements for a PCA training?

If the discussion above has piqued your interest in becoming a caregiver, you might want to know how to become one.

Typically, you only need a high school diploma to start your journey as a caregiver. Next, look for a state-accredited school that offers nursing or similar courses. You will receive a Basic Elder Care Certification upon completion of the training. A registered nurse will assess your skills and abilities while performing a practical test to complete your certification.


A study of a three-month online learning method for home caregivers of dementia patients in Taiwan concluded that online training and support, combined with in-person meetings, is an innovative and promising approach. Researchers claimed it helped home caregivers improve their skills, attitude and knowledge. This finding confirms that online training for agencies, complemented by mentorship and hands-on experience, is practical.

Being flexible, accessible, up-to-date, and compliant with regulations and standards are keys to effective online training, giving your employees the confidence to deliver care in any setting and even in challenging environments.

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