Patriot Ledger “ A Good Age Blog” // Published January 31, 2017 // By Sue Schieble
Ten students who are residents of the Quincy Housing Authority will graduate from a Home Health Aide non-credit program on Feb. 6. They are the first group of housing authority residents to complete the Home Health Aide program offered by Quincy College and the housing agency, working with Best of Care Inc.
QUINCY — What an interesting and productive partnership.
Home health aides play some of the most important roles in health care today, with growing numbers of older people needing care in a variety of settings.
So it is very good news that 10 students who are residents of the Quincy Housing Authority will graduate from a Home Health Aide non-credit program on Feb. 6. They are the first group of housing authority residents to complete the Home Health Aide program offered by Quincy College and the housing agency.
The graduation ceremony will be held at the Best of Care, Inc. offices, Suite 501S, 1250 Hancock St. in Quincy.
The program is free, open to Quincy Housing Authority residents and will be offered again by Quincy College and Quincy Housing Authority in February 2017.
The ceremony also will celebrate a 100 percent graduation rate, according to the college. And half, or five of the 10 students will have jobs upon graduation with Best of Care, Inc.
The Quincy College and Quincy Housing Authority Home Health Aide program started in August 2016 with 12 students.
Quincy College’s Director of Workforce Development and Community Engagement, Kate Lopci built the relationship between the housing authority and Best of Care, Inc.
Students received and participated in classroom training in the housing agency’s classroom space. They used Best of Care Inc. offices to demonstrate skills and visually observe critical skills in practice.
“The QHA and Quincy College program is addressing a shortage of skilled health-care workers for the City of Quincy and the South Shore, Kevin Smith, President and Chief Operating Officer of Best of Care, Inc said. “The shortage of trained workers coupled with an aging population means that the number of elderly needing care dramatically outnumber a skilled workforce.” Best of Care has offices in Quincy, Raynham, New Bedford and So. Dennis.
Best of Care serves more than 1,000 clients per week in Greater Boston, South Shore, Southeastern Massachusetts, Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard areas.
The home health aides will care for their fellow Quincy Housing Authority neighbors. Aides typically help with cleaning and cooking, provide assistance with daily living activities like bathing and dressing, and provide support for those with moderate, severe or chronic medical conditions. The goal of the home care program is to help individuals remain at home while maximizing their independence.
“We are so pleased to partner with the housing authority and local area business like Best of Care Inc. to address the changing needs of our aging communities and vocational needs of individuals,” Kate Lopci said.
One of Quincy Housing Authority’s priorities is addressing the increasing demand and need for improving job readiness skills. Currently, half of the residents have not graduated from high school, and due to a lack of education, many residents still struggle to find meaningful, gainful employment – mainly because they don’t have sufficient English skills, compounded by a lack of vocational skills, according to the college press release.
“I love this [Home Health Aide] program because it’s free and it gives me the opportunity to learn new things. It will open the doors for me for better jobs to support my wonderful family,” one Quincy Housing Authority resident and Home Health Aide student said.
“It’s never too late to succeed, just need to take that first step,” another added.
For more information, call Instructor Linda Webber the Quincy Housing Authority at 781-901-4506.