caregiver assisting senior with walker caregiver assisting senior with walker

Right at Home Columbia Trains Caregiving Staff in Parkinson’s Care

With Parkinson’s disease on the rise, Right at Home Columbia is partnering with the Parkinson’s Foundation to provide ongoing training for Right at Home’s entire caregiving staff. This training will help improve care and support for Right at Home clients with Parkinson’s and their families.

Parkinson’s disease is the second-leading neurodegenerative disease after Alzheimer’s. Today, 1 million people live with Parkinson’s disease in the United States, and that number is expected to increase by 20% by 2030, according to the Parkinson’s Foundation.

Creating a Culture that Is Sensitive to Those Living with Parkinson’s Disease

“At Right at Home, we are creating a culture that is sensitive to those living with Parkinson’s disease,” said Mike Brown, Vice President of Right at Home Columbia. “We are incorporating this training into our orientation, so our entire care staff has hands-on experience in how to provide care for our clients who are living with Parkinson’s.”

Right at Home Columbia had been providing Parkinson’s caregiver training under the Struthers Parkinson’s support program, which is now the newly expanded Parkinson’s Foundation training program, Community Partners in Parkinson’s Care, designed for senior living communities and home care agencies. The new program was announced in January 2022 and requires a minimum of 70% of all care staff to complete the training.

Mike and Human Resource Managers Shelleye Buckliew and Jessie Baker attended two full days of instruction. In turn, they trained their entire care team. Training covers aspects of the disease, how the disease affects movement, cues for support, assistance with daily living tasks, and changes in communication and thinking.

Mike states that while about 45% of his clientele have Parkinson’s or dementia, this training provides guidance to help everyone they serve. In particular, the program emphasizes medication timing and persistent patience.

Many people need medication reminders, but for those with Parkinson’s, the person must receive medication within a 10-minute window of the scheduled time. Caregivers set alarms on their cellphones to ensure the client adheres to their health care provider’s care plan. Caregivers also respond to any changes in the client’s condition and report the changes to the family—this practice is carried out for all clients.

The training also stresses patience and healthy persistence. This is a best practice for any client, but for those with Parkinson’s, it can be just as critical as medication timing. The training provides tools to help caregivers coach clients to stay as active as possible and highlights this key takeaway: “The more you do, the more you can do. The less you do, the less you can do.”

Right at Home Columbia Has been Providing Personalized In-home Care Plans for the Last 17 Years

For more than 17 years, Right at Home Columbia has been providing personalized in-home care plans for families looking for care and support for a loved one. Services include companionship, light housekeeping, medication reminders, and assistance with bathing, grooming, dressing, toileting and transportation.

And it is not just about taking care of older adults. Right at Home Columbia provides respite care to give family caregivers the relief they need. Respite care provided by Right at Home professional caregivers may be scheduled for a few hours a week to 24-hour care.

If a family is considering in-home care services for their loved one with Parkinson’s or dementia, Mike recommends choosing an agency that has caregivers who are trained to care for the person’s unique needs. Also, the family should ask the agency whether its caregivers are insured and whether the agency conducts background checks on its caregivers. Most importantly, the family should be able to trust the agency to care for their loved one.

If you would like to schedule a free in-home care assessment with Right at Home Columbia, contact the office at 803-551-4004.

Mike Brown
Mike Brown
Share this resource

Need help right now? Call us anytime at

(803) 551-4004