MILWAUKEE, Wis. — The need for caregivers is growing across the country and in Milwaukee.

What You Need To Know

  • Senior Helpers recently opened a training facility in Milwaukee

  • It has a real-life apartment simulation with potential hazards to help properly train caregivers to assist seniors

  • Senior Helpers said this type of training is necessary for proper care, and it’s something that is in high demand in the area

Senior Helpers is an organization that has been around for a little over a decade. It recently opened up a new training facility in Milwaukee near Howard and 27th Street.

Cindy Manzara is Senior Helpers' director of care. Her job is to teach and work side-by-side with caregivers and those in training while at the facility. They work together by going through transfer movements, like getting someone up and out of bed and ready for the day.

“We do absolutely thorough training with our caregivers to make sure they recognize safety risks in the apartment,” Manzara said.

(Spectrum News 1/Megan Marshall)

The training is done in a simulated apartment that is inside the training facility. This allows caregivers to get in a real-life situation and out of the classroom. The simulated apartment is made to look like someone is living there and has hazards that are commonly seen in a senior’s home.

“I hear that all the time from caregivers. They are like, ‘wow, this is different from anything I have ever done before,’” Manzara said.

Senior Helpers said this type of training is necessary for proper care, and it’s something that is in high demand in the area.

“As people are aging, we are finding there is more and more of a shortage in caregivers. So as people come in and we can make them feel more confident in what they are doing, that is a big part of what we do,” Senior Helpers General Manager LeighAnn Miller said.

Claudia Bolden has been a caregiver for more than 30 years and is now working with Senior Helpers. She said this type of training is unlike anything she has done before.

(Spectrum News 1/Megan Marshall)

“I have never had a company that I worked for that has a set up like this. We have trainings, we have films, classrooms, but never a real life apartment. This is a real-life apartment with scenarios,” Bolden said.

This program is not just training for certified caregivers, but it’s also for someone jumping in to take care of a loved one or for anyone who wants extra information on how to best help someone have a better quality of life.

“To have a tool like this is phenomenal. There is no one in the Milwaukee are who has this right now,” Miller said.

Through this program they are able to advance care and prepare more people to be able to properly take care of those in need.