“Would you like to be highly employable by summer? Would you find it meaningful to work with seniors? Would you like flexible working hours?”
If any of these questions resonate with you, perhaps you are a good candidate to take the 18-week Personal Support Worker for Seniors Program starting in February at Ometz, a non-profit organization offering employment, immigration, school and social services within Montreal. Initiated ten years ago, the program was set up to provide trained workers for the growing demographic of seniors who are living with various debilitating health conditions, including Alzheimer’s and dementia.
“We give educational classes during the first half of the program, where we have guest speakers who bring their experience and specialty, and add a lot to our courses,” explained Karine Cinq-Mars, teacher for the sessions. “The second part is an eight to nine week internship, Monday to Thursday for four hours a day, with supervision, mostly in elderly residences, drop-in centres, and the CLSC.”
Topics focus on mental and physical health, dealing with family dynamics, communication skills, aging, nutrition and recreation. After completing the lectures, participants receive their CPR card from the Heart and Stroke Foundation, a PDSB training card for performing safe transfers from ASSTSAS, and a Core Training Program in Alzheimer Care from the Alzheimer Society of Montreal.
The course has produced about 150 graduates, some three-quarters of whom have found work in the field. The number of candidates in each group is limited to 12 and participants have ranged in age from 30 to 70 years old with many looking for a different path in their career. Some are attracted by the possibility of flexible hours, while others have a “soft spot for seniors”, have cared for family members and realized this is rewarding work, Cinq-Mars said. “It’s often a new chapter in their lives.”
The next session of the Personal Support Worker for Seniors Program – which will be given in English – runs from February 10 to June 19, for a cost of $699 (Emploi-Québec may subsidize eligible applicants). For more information and to begin the online application process, visit http://bit.ly/2OVVFAJ