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Elk Grove Citizen

New Health Techs Help Address ‘Elder Care Cliff’

Jun 13, 2024 11:15AM ● By Joe Wirt

Graduates from Age In Place’s rehabilitation nursing technician course hold their certificates while joined by family, Age In Place owner Lou Basinal, center left, and Elk Grove Vice-Mayor Rod Brewer, center right. Photo by Matthew Malone

Age In Place Sacramento Rehab Nursing [6 Images] Click Any Image To Expand
ELK GROVE, CA (MPG) - A Sacramento-area in-home care agency recently recognized nine employees who completed a program giving them the skills to help patients stay in their homes and out of the hospital.
Age In Place Sacramento held the ceremony on June 7, marking the graduation of its first class of rehabilitation nursing technicians. 
Age In Place owner Lou Basinal said this training would help address rising health care needs as the number of older adults grows. 
Elk Grove Vice-Mayor Rod Brewer shared his own family’s experience with caregiving.
Basinal, who is also area director of the Northern California Care Planning Council, said she started the training program to address the challenges that family caregivers face when a relative is chronically ill. She cited the complexity of care and changes in the way the medical community treats chronically ill people. She said the average family caregiver is “overwhelmed.”
“They’ve got to work, right?” Basinal said. “They have to take care of themselves and they have to take care of their young children. These are the people that belong to the sandwich generation. … So what is the solution, you ask? The solution is each of these families need a comprehensive approach, a fully coordinated program, to care for the chronically ill patients.”
Basinal said rehab nursing techs work alongside doctors, nurses and physical therapists to fill gaps in care, visiting patients in their homes.
“These rehab nursing techs that you see today, they are trained to help our older adults stay well, get well, stay out of the emergency room as much as possible, comply with their medications, follow doctor’s orders,” Basinal said. “We help them get better faster, thrive and age in place, regardless of their life limitations.”
Brewer told the newly minted technicians that his mother was a nurse who inspired family members to study medicine “so to see a brand-new generation coming into those ranks is very heartwarming.”
The vice-mayor said he cares for his mother, now in her 80s, in addition to his public service and day job.
“I see the work that you’re doing is very important; it’s very instrumental. And I applaud you for going out there and providing that extra relief for families like mine, who need that extra helping hand with our loved ones on a daily basis,” Brewer said.
Basinal said in an interview that the country is nearing an “elder care cliff,” noting that about 10,000 baby boomers reach age 65 every day.
Basinal said the rehab nursing techs would concentrate on helping patients regain or maintain functional abilities, specifically through addressing pain, nutrition, hydration, sleep and physical activity.
Additionally, the training program provides professional development and advancement opportunities for Age In Place’s employees.
Kate Megia, a course graduate, told the Citizen that the certification would help her reach an “expert” level in her work.
Megia, who is also a certified nurse assistant, said the training included instruction on caring for people with various diseases, including different kinds of Alzheimer’s disease.
Megia spoke about why she works in the caregiving field.
“When you see your patient able to get up from bed, that’s so rewarding. When you see your patient able to do their daily living, like bathing, eating, by themselves, that’s rewarding. Basically, when you’re helping, it’s rewarding,” Megia said. “And we’re not just caring for money; we’re caring to help.”