Provide your staff with an evidence-based workforce skills training that's been proven to reduce staff turnover by up to 40% in long-term care centers.

What is Engage with® Skills Training Program

Our Eldercare Workforce Lacks Necessary Skills Training

The United States is facing a crisis: a rapidly aging population with mental and behavioral health needs that will require more human resources than are currently available. In addition, the existing and future workforce lacks access to the skills training necessary to work effectively with this expanding demographic. Experts maintain the U.S. must make significant changes and invest in the development of the older adult workforce in order to protect its economy.

Engage with® Older Adults Skills Training is an important resource to prepare for the influx of this aging older adult population. The program provides critical and affordable training that will help employers retain their workforce while improving the skills of professional caregivers.

Multi-colored circular shaped Training Schematic that shows how the Core Skills Training can stand alone and is also the foundation for the 5 available supplements.

Older Adults

Skills Training Module

The Engage with® Older Adults skills training module focuses on developing the skills necessary to work with, care for and/or support older adults during all phases of the aging process. The Older Adult module begins with the “Core Skills,” “What everyone needs to know.” It is a four-hour, stand-alone, skills-based training that provides a comprehensive foundation of skills that has immediate practical applications for its attendees. The Core Skills training provides an introduction to the Engage with® Older Adults approach and is required prior to attending any of the available supplements.

Core Skills: What Everyone Needs to Know

  1. Demonstrate respect
  2. Reduce the impact of stigma
  3. Active listening
  4. Non-verbal communication
  5. Verbal expression
  6. Engage in meaningful ways
  7. Identify risk factors for suicide
  8. De-escalate

Learning Objectives

  1. Apply skills that enhance their ability to effectively engage with older adults.
  2. Explain the behavioral health issues that affect some older adults.
  3. Examine how age-related changes in our body impacts our ability to process and recover from the effects of medications, illicit drugs and alcohol.
  4. Describe the normal aging process.
  5. Summarize the “new” culture of aging.
  6. Identify how the older adult views themselves, including their experiences and perspective, expectations, and needs.
  7. Classify stigma as it relates to aging.
  8. Use purposeful communication, including active listening, non-verbal and verbal communication.
  9. Distinguish the risk factors that increase an older adult’s risk of suicide.
  10. Give examples of how to de-escalate an irritated or aggressive older adult.

Following completion of the Core Skills training, there are five 2-hour supplements available which can be “mixed and matched” to meet your individual needs.


Responding to Mental Health Issues

Participants will develop and/or refine skills in the following areas:


  1. Explain mental health issues in older adults and their special needs.
  2. Identify the risk factors that lead to late life mental health disorders.
  3. Give examples of how mental illness can affect all aspects of an older adult’s life.
  4. Define the terms “psychosis” and “trauma.”
  5. Apply strategies to prevent and reduce resistance to care (RTC) in those living with mental health disorders.


Understanding Substance Use and Medication Misuse

Participants will develop and/or refine skills in the following areas:


  1. Explain why substance use and medication misuse can be a problem for older adults.
  2. Identify the special needs of older adults who use substances.
  3. Describe the theory of addiction.
  4. List risk factors for substance use and medication misuse in older adults.
  5. Describe how the person is affected by the substance, and what happens when the substance is no longer in their system.


Navigating Dementia & Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

Participants will develop and/or refine skills in the following areas:


  1. Describe the changes experienced by those with dementia.
  2. Apply strategies to slow the onset and worsening of dementia.
  3. Recognize the early signs and symptoms of dementia.
  4. Identify the difference between delirium and dementia.
  5. Give examples of how to be helpful for those living with a traumatic brain injury.


Managing Aggression

Participants will develop and/or refine skills in the following areas:


  1. Recognize how distraction can be helpful with some older adults.
  2. Define the “Aggressive Cycle.”
  3. Illustrate the importance of personal space.
  4. Give examples of how their body language can improve a difficult situation.
  5. Demonstrate skills to respond respectfully to common challenging behaviors.


Partnering In Care

Participants will develop and/or refine skills in the following areas:


  1. Identify the importance of thinking like a partner when working with and/or caring for older adults.
  2. Give examples of core needs and what happens when those needs are not met.
  3. Recognize the impact of stress on burnout.
  4. List the three (3) steps necessary to reduce stress.
  5. Summarize the importance of a self-care action plan and how to develop their own plan.

Earn Continuing Education Credit for Completing this Program

Engage with® Skills Training Programs, #1809, is approved to offer social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Organizations, not individual courses, are approved as ACE providers. State and provincial regulatory boards have the final authority to determine whether an individual course may be accepted for continuing education credit. Engage with Skills Training Programs maintains responsibility for this course. ACE provider approval period: 05/04/2023 – 05/04/2026.

Social workers completing the Core Skills: What Everyone Needs to Know course receive 3.75 continuing education credits. Social Workers completing any supplement course (i.e. Responding to Mental Health Issues) receive 1.75 continuing education credits.
The “Core Skills: What Everyone Need to Know” program has been approved for Continuing Education for 3.75 total participant hours by the National Association of Long Term Care Administrator Boards (NAB)/National Continuing Education Review Service (NCERS). Approval #20230701-3.75-A85310-DL-CO

Skills Pyramid

All of the 30-plus skills in the full Engage with® Older Adults Skills Training Program fall into one or more of these five levels of the Skills Pyramid.

Teal Green Engage with Skills Training Pyramid with the words (from base to top): Observe, Communicate, Respond, Preserve, Reflect.

According to Senior Housing News:

According to Senior Housing News, the turnover rate for entry level and skilled staff in ALFs and LTCFs is double other comparable occupations – leading to increased costs and compromised care. One of the stated reasons for this is that staff are unprepared for the emotional intensiveness of interacting with Seniors on a daily basis and literally lack the skills needed to be confident, effective and content in their jobs. Engage with® Skills Training for Older Adults focuses on these exact deficiencies, and our research shows that the training works in reducing turnover and teaching these skills through a unique method that uses emotional response to deepen learning.

Take a Tour of our Virtual Training Center

The Engage with® older adult skills training program uses an innovative, simple to use interactive gamification approach. Take a tour by clicking the section to the left.

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