CMC hosts introductory Fireside Chat about personal care attendant training |

CMC hosts introductory Fireside Chat about personal care attendant training

June Waters looked across a crowd of hundreds of professional caregivers and said something that hit them right between the eyes.

“You’ll spend more time caring for you mother than your mother spent caring for you,” Walters said.

You should know how.

Colorado Mountain College is offering a 13-week course to certify professional caregivers.

They’re hosting a Fireside Chat with Caregivers on Wednesday afternoon.

“The evidence of family members taking care of family members in the valley has grown in leaps and bounds,” said Evie Rosen-Budd of the National Family Caregiver Association.

It’s for people who want to learn to be a caregiver. They get a certificate and then hopefully get jobs.

Not just for older people

Caregiving is not totally missing from the valley, Rosen-Budd said, and it’s a growing market.

“It’s not just for aging people. Accident victims and others need to be looked after. Someone has to take care of them,” Rosen-Budd said.

That’s a job, said Waters, who handles business and economic development for the Northwest Colorado Council of Governments.

Caregiving is one of the next decade’s most recession proof occupations, said Elizabeth Garner, Colorado’s state demographer.

“Even certified aids are expensive if they’re hired over an extended period of time,” said Pat Hammon, a Registered Nurse, military veteran and instructor for CMC’s Personal Care Attendant Training.

Caregivers are certified medical professionals, a level below certified nurses aid, an entry level position in to the medical profession.

If you like what you hear Wednesday, Colorado Mountain College is offering a certification class – 13 sessions, four hours each.

“When families are looking for help, they’re looking for someone who’s trained,” Hammon said.

The course is designed to help give caregivers more information about what resources are available and various methods of making life easier for them, Rosen-Budd said.

“We call it a bump in the night. Someone has a stroke, accident, a heart attack. Now the family has to regroup and figure out how they’re going to care for this person,” Rosen-Budd said. “It’s emotionally draining.”

She knows what she’s talking about. She was her husband’s caregiver.

Filling a need

The market is growing, right along with the size of the valley’s aging population.

“People’s parents are moving in with them, they’re getting older themselves and they’re going to need some help,” Hammon said. “Right now we don’t have any options. We need people to fill that need.”

It was once thought that once Baby Boomers stopped skiing and adventure hiking, they’d leave. That’s not what they’re seeing, said Rachel Lunney, research project manager with the Northwest Colorado Council of Governments.

“Every indication is that they are staying,” Lunney said.

The work is not always steady.

“Sometimes it’s three or four weeks here and there, but we have people in the valley who have been hiring caregivers the past four years,” Hammon said.

It’s something working moms can do, Hammon said, working shifts around their families.

“One of the nice things is that you can name your own hours. And the training will be fun,” Hammon said.

Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 or

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