Home healthcare is one of the fastest-growing fields in the United States. As the population ages, more and more people need the help of a home caregiver.

That said, there are certain requirements if you want to become a caregiver. In most states, you’ll need to complete a certification program. And even if you’re already certified, you’ll have to meet continuing professional development standards in order to maintain your certification. Fortunately, there are plenty of resources available to help you out.

Here’s a list of the 40 best caregiver training programs. Some are broader and more general, while others help you focus on specific skills, or learn how to work with a particular type of patient. Let’s take a closer look!

The 40 Best Courses for Caregivers

1)  American Caregiver Association National Caregiver Certification

The American Caregiver Association (ACA) is the largest certifying organization for caregivers in the United States. Their certifications are widely accepted in all 50 states. The National Caregiver Certification is one of their most comprehensive; it’s the one you should take if you only take one certification course. For your investment, you receive 120 hours of instruction on dozens of topics, from basic issues like hygiene to more complex matters like preventing abuse.

Key features:

  • Covers a broad array of subject matter in 120 hours of classroom time
  • Requires an ACA membership (costs $25 per year)
  • Can bundle with other ACA courses for a discount

Price: $99

2)  American Caregiver Association Advanced National Caregiver Certification Course

The ACA’s Advanced National Caregiver Certification Course is similar to their original National Caregiver Certification, but covers more subject matter. For the first 120 hours, you’ll cover the same material as the original course; then, you’ll receive an additional 80 hours of instruction on more advanced material. This additional material includes dealing with physical and mental disabilities, controlled substance storage, peri-operative care, and more. The Advanced course can be taken without taking the original first, and is a better choice if you plan to continue your studies.

Key Features:

  • Covers everything in the original course, plus an additional 80 hours of advanced instruction
  • Requires an ACA membership (costs $25 per year)
  • Can bundle with other ACA courses for a discount

Price: $119

3)  American Caregiver Association Certificate of Caregiver Leadership: Level I

The ACA’s Leadership: Level 1 class fills a handful of important roles. First and foremost, it gives home caregivers a way to continue their education; many programs require continuing education credits, and this 20-hour class will fulfil most program requirements. Second, leadership training can be the first step towards taking your career to the next level – whether you want to move up into management, or become a licensed nurse.

Key Features:

  • Continuing education credits in leadership studies
  • Requires an ACA membership (costs $25 per year)
  • Can bundle with other ACA courses for a discount

Price: $49.99

4)  American Caregiver Association Certificate of Personal Development: Level 1

The Certificate of Personal Development: Level 1 is similar to the Leadership: Level 1 course from ACA in that it offers 20 hours of continuing education training. Personal development means working on your personal strengths and weaknesses, so this class can be beneficial to everybody; both experienced caregivers and those who are new to the field.

Key Features:

  • Continuing education credits in personal development
  • Requires an ACA membership (costs $25 per year)
  • Can bundle with other ACA courses for a discount

Price: $49.99

5)  American Caregiver Association Certificate of Caregiver Ethics: Level I

This is the last basic ACA certification we’ll look at, but it’s one of the most important, because it relates directly to your trustworthiness. As a personal caregiver, people rely on you to take care of their basic needs or those of their relatives; they need to know you’re an ethical, trustworthy individual! This course provides 20 hours of continuing education, and you’ll learn about how to do the right thing when you’re caregiving. At the end, you’ll receive a certificate to show potential clients.

Key Features:

  • Continuing education credits and an increased level of trust from potential clients
  • Requires an ACA membership (costs $25 per year)
  • Can bundle with other ACA courses for a discount

Price: $49.99

6)  Caregiverlist Caregiver Training Center

Caregiverlist is one of the most popular caregiver job markets in the country; it’s a platform where caregivers, companies, and patients and families can create profiles and connect. But if you’re going to find work on this platform, you’ll need to stand out from the pack. Through the Caregiverlist training center, you’ll receive training in 13 different modules, ranging from hygiene to privacy, from exercise to Alzheimer’s. By the time you’re done, you’ll have a valuable credential to help you find work.

Key Features:

  • Must pass a 36-question exam in order to receive certificate
  • Multiple certifications available, including Professional Caregiver, C.H.H.A., C.N.A., and C.P.C.A.
  • Boost your online profile and earn your certification at the same time

Price: $59

7)  Love2Live Care Services

Love2Live Care Services is a San Diego-based nonprofit that serves seniors in the wider San Diego area. Their website includes a list of resources to help with a number of common home care issues; most of these are oriented towards senior-related illnesses, but there are valuable tools for a number of conditions. There’s no actual class or training here, but everything you see is free, and there’s a ton of good information from reliable sources.

Key Features:

  • Great supply of resources for new and ongoing training
  • Multiple resources for families and patients as well as caregivers
  • Does not provide an actual certificate

Price: Free

8)  Alison Introduction to Caregiving

Alison is an online training platform with classes from experts in a wide variety of fields, including home caregiving. In their Introduction to Caregiving, you’ll learn the basics of providing home care while maintaining patient privacy and working with their families. You’ll also learn how to help patients with particular disabilities, such as blind and wheelchair-bound patients.

Key Features:

  • Can be completed in less than two hours
  • Designed for people who are already working full-time
  • Accreditation for continuing professional development for many programs

Price: Free

9)  Alison Diploma in Caregiving

While Alison’s introductory class is a barebones crash course, their Diploma in Caregiving is a bit more comprehensive. It takes between six and 10 hours to complete, and covers topics including common symptoms of illness, the effects of aging on the body, various body systems, and cultural issues that can complicate home caregiving. When you’re done, you’ll have a reasonably good understanding of the basics of home care.

Key Features:

  • Can be completed in less than 10 hours
  • Comprehensive introductory course for brand new caregivers
  • Accreditation for continuing professional development for many programs

Price: Free

10)  Alison Health and Safety for Caregiving

The Health and Safety for Caregiving class is a bit more targeted than the last two Alison offerings we looked at. Instead of giving you a broad overview, this is a two hour deep dive into handling medical emergencies like falls, heart attacks, stroke, and food allergies. By the end, you’ll have the confidence to remain calm even when you’re dealing with a very real emergency. Even experienced caregivers will get continuing professional development credit under most conditions.

Key Features:

  • Training for how to deal with medical emergencies
  • Can be completed in less than two hours
  • Accreditation for continuing professional development for many programs

Price: Free

11)  Relias Academy Caregiver Core Certification

The Relias Academy Caregiver Core Certification is a full-featured certification course that’s accepted nationwide. You’ll study 10 different modules, which cover subjects from patient privacy to spotting abuse to dealing with infections. At the end, you’ll know everything you need to know to care for most patients.

Key Features:

  • Comprehensive certification program accepted nationwide
  • Takes 12 hours to complete
  • Training is 100% online

Price: $49.99

12)  Relias Academy Caregiver Education Library

The Relias Academy Caregiver Education Library is a collection of dozens of one-hour training courses in a variety of home caregiving subjects. All courses are 2018-compliant, and many are available in Spanish. The price tag is a little steep for individual buyers, since you have to spend a minimum of $759.99. On the other hand, if you have several employees, investing in a few of these DVDs can keep them compliant with continuing professional development standards.

Key Features:

  • Dozens of home caregiving courses
  • Multiple Spanish-language courses
  • Ideal for businesses with multiple caregivers

Price: $759.99 for six one-hour DVDs

13)  Relias Academy California Home Care Aide Initial Training

The Relias Academy California Home Care Aide Initial Training course is designed to meet the unique requirements of the State of California. The class is spread across four one-hour modules, which cover the duties of a caregiver, the importance of teamwork, infection prevention and control, and a workplace safety module. At the end, you’ll receive a certificate that confirms you’ve completed the course.

Key Features

  • Meets all requirements for California home care aide training
  • Takes four hours to complete
  • Also meets the standards for many other states

Price: $49.95

14)  Caregiver Training Institute Caregiver Training Course

The Caregiver Training Institute’s Caregiver Training Course provides one of the more comprehensive certification programs in the country. You’ll study all aspects of home care, including legal, business, and ethical concerns that aren’t covered by most courses. You’ll also get special training in dealing with mental health issues and other special needs. The main downside is that some of the work is done onsite, so you’ll need to live in Arizona if you want to take advantage.

Key Features:

  • Takes 120 hours to complete
  • Some work is done in the classroom in Arizona
  • Can be taken in conjunction with nursing certification training

Price: Depends on timing (better prices the further ahead you schedule)

Institute for Professional Care Education Caregiver Core Certification

15)  Dependable Senior Home Care Online Home Carer Training

Dependable Senior Home Care is a Denver, Colorado-based provider of home care services. With years of expertise, their training program is now accepted by many other programs. You don’t have to live in Denver in order to take advantage, either; the material is entirely online. When the class is complete, you take two written tests and receive a certificate for prospective employers.

Key Features:

  • Simple, text-based format allows you to study at your own pace
  • Receive a certificate at the end of the course
  • Class material is 100% online

Price: Varies by course – contact for information

16)  Universal Class Online Class: Caring for Seniors

Universal Class is an online education portal that offers classes in dozens of disciplines, all of them accredited within their particular fields. Their Online Class: Caring for Seniors, is designed as a continuing education course, and provides 0.7 CEUs to programs that require them. It also provides training in all the basic topics required for caregiver certification.

Key Features:

  • 15 lesson modules
  • Takes 7 hours to complete
  • 100% online and self-paced

Price: $70 without CEU certificate – $95 with certificate

17)          Family Caregiver Education Program

The Family Caregiver Education Program, offered through Home Sweet Home Care, Inc, is a free community program provided to benefit those who are caring for elderly or disabled family members. There are over 40 hours’ worth of training modules, which cover everything from Alzheimer’s to basic nutrition.

Key Features:

  • Study at your own pace, and study only the subjects you need
  • Designed for people who are caring for their own family members
  • Over 40 hours of free content

Price: Free

18)  Care Academy

Care Academy is an online training platform that’s accredited in all 50 states. This means their classes will be good for almost any certification, and can count as continuing education credits in any state. Their program is customizable, with over 70 hours of total video material. That said, you pay for lessons individually, so you won’t actually have to pay for all 70 hours.

Key Features:

  • Approved in all 50 states
  • Create a custom lesson plan with the training you need
  • Includes training on cultural competency, dementia, and many other areas

Price: Depends on the exact class – includes free trial

19)  Caregiver Cloud Online Healthcare Training Courses

The Caregiver Cloud is similar to Care Academy, in that it offers a huge variety of material for you to pick and choose from. In fact, you can choose from over 250 courses, which can be used to meet continuing professional development standards for nurses as well as home care workers. With these many courses, you can rest assured they cover every topic imaginable.

Key Features:

  • Can choose between over 250 courses
  • Courses are accredited for nursing continued education
  • 100% online training

Price: Depends on package

20)  Sunrise Services 75 Hours Basic Home Care Aide Training

Sunrise Services is a Washington-based mental healthcare provider that works with a number of home healthcare aides. Based on their expertise, they’ve built a 75-hour certification course that will meet all standards in Washington State along with several others.

Key Features:

  • Covers all aspects of home healthcare
  • Safety, basic training, and population specific training for a total of 75 hours
  • Requires some in-person classroom time in Seattle-area offices

Price: $240

21)  Sunrise Services Nursing Assistant Certified (NAC) Bridge

For many, becoming a home caregiver is the first step towards nursing, or even becoming a nursing specialist. The next step on that road is to become Nursing Assistant Certified (NAC). This class is designed for people who already have their home care aide certification to earn their NAC, and includes a combination of classroom, lab, and field work.

Key Features:

  • 24 hours divided evenly between class, lab, and field work
  • Designed for home healthcare aides to earn their NAC
  • Must be able to attend in-person classes at Everett and Mt Vernon training centers in Washington

Price: $400 + materials

22)  Sunrise Services Online Courses

The Sunrise Services Basic Home Care Aide Training is comprehensive and popular, but you need to be there in person; their online courses, on the other hand, provide all the same material in your browser. You study at your own pace, and take a test at the end of each section to confirm you’ve retained the information. Once you’ve passed, you gain all the same benefits as passing the in-person course.

Key Features:

  • All 75 hours of the standard certification course
  • Covers a variety of subject areas
  • 100% online training

Price: $240

23) Alison Caregiving Skills – Dementia Care

Earlier, we talked about some of Alison’s basic courses, but they also offer more advanced training to help you deal with certain medical conditions. In their Dementia Care module, you’ll learn about specific challenges that arise when caring for patients with Dementia. You’ll learn about different types of dementia, and how types of dementia can affect your patient’s life and ability to communicate. You’ll also get advice for how to talk to families about this emotionally draining disease.

Key Features:

  • Dedicated training for dementia care
  • Can be completed in less than two hours
  • Continuing education credit for most programs

Price: Free

24) Alison Elderly Care and Caring for the Disabled

Alison’s Elderly Care and Caring for the Disabled is a crash course in how aging affects the body. It begins by explaining the basic health effects of aging, and moves on to identifying these effects, and how to manage them. The course takes a holistic approach, and recognizes that not all age-related issues can be “cured.” Instead, much of the last portion discusses how to maintain the maximum quality of life as a patient ages.

Key Features:

  • Dedicated training for caring for patients who suffer from physical disabilities due to age
  • Can be completed in less than two hours
  • Continuing education credit for most programs

Price: Free

25) Relias Academy Assisted Living Training

As you might imagine, assisted living is a bit different from ordinary home caregiving, which is why Relias Academy provides a dedicated Assisted Living Training course. In the course, you’ll learn about the special needs of individuals in assisted living facilities. And if you’re a nurse, the class will count towards your continuing education requirements.

Key Features:

  • Specialization for assisted living and related issues
  • Can earn up to 23 credit hours
  • 100% online training

Price: $100

26) Zen Caregiving Project Custom Mindful Caregiving Courses

End of life care can take an emotional toll on everyone involved; this can be particularly hard on caregivers who spend all day caring for others, without someone to lean on. Zen Caregiving focuses on mindfulness and meditation, and provides custom seminars to organizations. Unfortunately, if you’re a freelancer, you won’t be able to take a solo class.

Key Features:

  • Primary focus is on end-of-life care
  • Designed from a perspective of mindfulness and meditation
  • Focus on wellness for you as well as your patient

Price: Varies based on group size

27) Cannabis Care Certification Patient Education Program

Medical marijuana is now legal in the majority of states, but many professionals still haven’t been educated in its use. If you’re a home caregiver who assists patients with marijuana, the Cannabis Care Certification can help you make sure you’re doing things correctly, and by the book.

Key Features:

  • Learn how marijuana is used to treat various conditions
  • Learn how to store and dispense marijuana
  • Learn about the laws in your area

Price: Free

28) Family Caregiver Alliance Webinars

The Family Caregiver Alliance is a group of caregivers and family members who provide resources to support others. These free webinars are primarily tailored for family members, to help them recognize and manage the symptoms of age-related illness.

Key Features:

  • Designed for people who are caring for their own family members
  • Focus on your needs as well as the patient’s
  • Study and learn on your own time, at your own pace

Price: Free

29) VA Caregiver Support

The Department of Veterans Affairs offers caregiver support for veterans, their family members, and their home caregivers. These classes are free, last for six weeks, and you can take up to four at once. Not only are they useful for continuing education, but they give additional resources for veteran-specific issues like PTSD.

Key Features:

  • Program designed for veterans and their families
  • Can sign up for up to four classes at once
  • Free workbook and CD included

Price: Free for veterans and their families

30) Alzheimer’s Association Dementia Care Resources

Alzheimer’s and dementia represent a unique challenge for caregivers. Oftentimes, patients have spent their entire adult lives living independently, and cannot understand why they need help with daily tasks. The Alzheimer’s Association offers special resources for caregivers who work with these patients.

Key Features:

  • Get specific training for Alzheimer’s patients
  • Learn to manage behavior related to dementia
  • Help families who have been impacted by their loved ones’ dementia

Price: Free

31) NCBAC Alzheimer Caregiver Course

The NCBAC’s Alzheimer Caregiver Course is a comprehensive, all-in-one class that covers not just dementia care and symptoms, but detailed information on medications, legal, and ethical questions. For an additional fee, you can also take a basic caregiver course and earn that certification at the same time.

Key Features:

  • Practice quizzes at the end of each module
  • 100% online self-paced learning
  • Can also obtain basic caregiver certification

Price: $165 (additional $99 for caregiver course)

32) NCBAC Certified Alzheimer Caregiver

The NCBAC’s Certified Alzheimer Caregiver (CAC) certification is their standalone Alzheimer’s certification, without any additional courses. If all you need is a CAC certification, this is the ideal package.

Key Features:

  • Pass a test at the end to earn your CAC
  • Learn at your own pace, 100% online
  • Standalone Certified Alzheimer Caregiver program

Price:  $165

33) CRTS™ Certification

A Certified Relocation & Transition Specialist (CRTS™) is trained specifically to help seniors transition to assisted living or nursing homes. This is a purely voluntary certification, but it helps you stand out in a crowded – and growing – field.

Key Features:

  • Learn how to help seniors move
  • Earn a certification in a unique field with growing demand
  • Voluntary certification speaks to a high standard

Price: $999

34) Family Caregiver Online Training

The Family Learning Center’s Family Caregiver Online Training provides everything you need to know about caring for your elderly relative. With 40 hours of training, 25 of which is dedicated to Alzheimer’s, this free program is a treasure trove of valuable information.

Key Features:

  • Takes about 40 hours to complete
  • 25 hours specifically dedicated for dementia and Alzheimer’s care
  • Designed for people who are caring for their own family members

Price: Free

35) Certified Eden at Home Associate Training

Eden at Home Associate Training is a holistic training method designed to support the health of caregivers as well as patients. They offer three-day seminars to organizations, and train multiple caregivers simultaneously.

Key Features:

  • Three-day deep dive seminars for organizations
  • Alternative version geared towards dementia care
  • Focused on caregiver health as well as the patient

Price: Depends on size of the organization

36) American Caregiver Association National Assisted Living Manager Certification

We started out today by looking at an array of the ACA’s basic classes, so why not look at one of their more advanced options? Just as their National Caregiver Certification is the national standard for basic caregiving, their National Assisted Living Manager Certification is the national standard for management. In this course, you’ll learn about employment laws, your liability as a business owner, and how to ensure that procedures are all being followed properly. You’ll also earn 80 hours of continuing education credit.

Key Features:

  • 80 hours of continuing education credit for experienced caregivers
  • Foundational training for those who want to start their own business
  • Requires an ACA membership (costs $25 per year)

Price: $99

37) The American Association for Caregiver Education Basic Training for the Professional Family Caregiver Facilitator

The American Association for Caregiver Education (AACE) provides comprehensive training for a variety of caregiver education needs. This 40-hour basic course is designed for individuals who want to take an administrative role in the home caregiving marketplace.

Key Features:

  • Takes 40 hours to complete
  • Comprehensive training for individuals, families, and groups
  • Covers all aspects of caregiving facilitation, including legal and ethical considerations

Price: Apply to receive pricing

38) The American Association for Caregiver Education Family Caregiving Master Planning for the Professional

The AACE’s Master Planning course is a more advanced version of their basic caregiver facilitation class. In addition to the original course, you participate in 40 hours of group activities and roleplays to explore complex aspects of caregiving facilitation.

Key Features:

  • 80-hour program is twice as in depth as the basic program
  • Includes group workshops and role plays to address complex caregiving facilitation issues
  • Includes a workbook and study materials for the AACE’s Train the Trainer program

Price: Apply to receive pricing

39) Relias Academy EasyCEU NAB-Approved Continuing Education Units

EasyCEU was a company that provided online courses for continuing education for nurses and nurse practitioners. Their teaching service has since been purchased by Relias Academy, but the quality and reliability remains the same.

Key Features:

  • 10 and 24-hour courses available
  • NAB-approved courses provide CEUs for healthcare professionals
  • Formerly known as EasyCEU – one of the best in the business

Price: Multiple class options

40) American Nurses Credentialing Center Certification Program

With multiple certifications in elderly adult care, the ANCC has a lot to offer existing nurses who want to expand their credentials. The courses are tailored for working nurses, and will fit into a busy schedule.

Key Features:

  • Must first pass the NCC Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner board certification
  • Requires an application and education history
  • Certifications available for NPs and CNS

Price: $395 ($295 for ANA members)

The Advantages of CDPAP Caregiver Training Over Traditional Caregiver Training

The Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program (CDPAP) is a Medicaid program provided to seniors by New York State. Through CDPAP, individuals who require at-home care can choose their own personal caregiver. This caregiver can be anyone – including a friend or relative – and they will be paid by Medicaid for their services.

All required training is provided through a doctor who comes on site and teaches the caregiver how to perform the required tasks. This makes CDPAP hugely advantageous for people who are caring for their own family members. Instead of paying for an expensive certification course, your training costs are entirely covered by Medicaid.

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