SPRY Foundation - Setting Priorities for Retirement Years

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Aging and Communications Training (ACT) Project

Methodology:

The methodology evolved through the course of this twentyfour-month long grant. Initially, through focus groups and interviews, a draft curriculum was developed and fine-tuned with the help of the Advisory Group. Then it was pre-tested with a small group of direct care workers over three full days. After some changes were incorporated, including tailoring the training more closely to time availability (1-2 days, generally in half-day segments) and the needs of each group, workers from Baltimore City senior centers, the Meals on Wheels program, and case managers for CARE were trained.

DSCN0433
"Pre-test Training Program: (L-R) Dr. Patricia Alt, Project Director and Senior Trainer, and Ms. Tracy Gibbs, Co-Trainer with Participants. "

The curriculum was again revised at that point (one key area added was more information on mental health concerns), and brought to the group of Master Trainers selected for training at the n4a conference. With their feedback, the training materials were further revised, and sent to these trainers to take back to their states and teach other trainers how to use it with direct care workers. 

Photo2
"Sandy Markwood, CEO N4A discussing national implications of ACT Training to Master Trainers at July 28, 2007 session in San Francisco, CA "

Photo3
"John P. Stewart, Executive Director Commision on Aging and Retirement (CARE), Baltimore, MD discussing early development and design of the ACT Curriculum."

Photo4_1
"JoAnne Decker, Director, Senior Community Programs, Syracuse/Onondaga County, NY leading local training of trainers in ACT Curriculum, at Arrowhead Lodge, Brewerton, NY, December."

Photo4_2
"Local Trainers from Syracuse/Onondaga Country, working with ACT training curriculum 'hands on' sensitivity to characteristics of aging."

We were particularly pleased that the 13 state master Trainers were able to train 240 of their targeted 260 local trainers, thereby reaching 90% of their targeted goal. In addition, some of the 13 master trainers are continuing the training activities beyond the timeline of this project and sending us their results.

ACT Program National Dissemination
Summary of 13 Master Trainer’s Sessions

Name of AAA

City/State

Attended July 28, 2007 
Master Training
In SF

Completed Training of Trainers
in State (target 20 Trainers)

SPRY Received Pre-Post
Forms

Number pre-post Received

Number Trainers Trained by Dec 15 2007

 Total Number of Trainers Trained by Jan 31, 2008

NorthWest Senior & Disability Services

Salem, OR

YES

YES

YES

10

11

32

San Joaquin Co. Human Services gency

Stockton, CA

YES

YES

YES

10

10

10

Hawkeye Valley AAA

Waterloo, IA

YES

YES

YES

14

14

32

Metropolitan AAA

St. Paul, MN

YES

YES

YES

12

12

12

Area IV AAA

Lafayette, IN

YES

YES

YES

54 (not trainers)

16

20

Western Reserve AAA

Cleveland, OH

YES

YES

YES

10

4

10

West Central Florida AAA, Inc.

Tampa, FL

YES

YES

YES

15

15

15

Centralina AAA

Charlotte, NC

YES

YES

YES

23

29

29

Senior Resources AAA Region 14

Muskegon Heights, MI

YES

YES

YES

10

 

10

Western Connecticut AAA

Waterbury, CT

YES

YES

YES

20

 

20

Onondaga County Depart of Aging and Youth

Syracuse, NY

YES

YES

YES

12

12

12

St. Louis AAA

St. Louis, MO

YES

YES

YES

13

13

20

North Central – Flint Hills AAA

Manhattan, KS

YES

YES

YES

14

18

18

Total Trained

 

 

 

 

 

153

240

Percent of Training Target (260)

 

 

 

 

 

59%

92%

 

Findings/Outcomes:

The evaluation process for this project also evolved over time. During the initial field test phase, direct care worker participants were given paper pre- and post-tests, and they were also contacted for phone interviews 3-4 months after the training. As shown in the evaluation, and in the conference presentations to the International Conference on Urban Health and the American Public Health Association, the training was successful in increasing and sustaining the workers’ confidence in their own ability to communicate, to understand and deal with aging-related changes, and to recognize and act on the mental health problems of those they serve. They also registered significant improvement in confidence in their own ability to manage work-related stress.

Similarly, the Master trainers and the trainers they trained were given pre- and post-assessments, and were interviewed and provided online feedback about the program. The trainers already had considerable knowledge, so the variations in their reported knowledge and self-efficacy between the pre- and post-tests, and at the four-month follow up interview were less pronounced than for the direct care workers. However, they were quite positive about the potential value of the training for direct care workers back in their home jurisdictions.

he SPRY Foundation is following up by working with n4a and a number of the participating area agencies in building on the outcomes of the training.

     
 
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copyright © SPRY Foundation, 2007