Female medical personnel scrubs hands and arms with disinfectant soap during the Covid-19 outbreak. She is dressed in blue scrubs with a stethoscope around her neck.
(Credit: FatCamera / Getty Images)

A first-of-its-kind infection prevention course “uniquely tailored” to assisted living direct care workers is now available through a partnership between Argentum and epidemiology experts. 

The “Infection Prevention and Control Essentials for Assisted Living” course was developed by Argentum and the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology. The course is comprised of four modules:

  • Module 1 covers the basics of infection prevention and control, including hand hygiene, personal protective equipment, respiratory etiquette, sharps safety, environmental topics, cleaning and disinfection, and food safety.
  • Module 2 addresses transmission-based precautions and covers an array of infections and conditions of concern in the assisted living environment.
  • Module 3 addresses why residents are at increased risk for infection, and special care consideration.
  • Module 4 is a compilation of the elements needed to build and lead an infection prevention and control program in assisted living.

“It’s critical as the industry continues to elevate measures to protect residents from infection,” Brad Williams, Argentum senior vice president of business operations, said in a statement. The comprehensive course is “uniquely tailored” to assisted living caregivers, he added.

The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the importance of infection prevention and control training for caregiving staff members in senior living. The course aims to provide direct care workers with a greater understanding of how to prevent infectious diseases from spreading through a community.

The goals of the program are to help staff members identify infection risks as well as learn basic actions to take to prevent spread, understand the components of an effective infection prevention and control program, and learn how to engage residents and family members in adopting effective infection prevention and control practices.

The approximately 30,600 assisted living communities in the country serve more than 800,000 older adults. Almost 480,000 employees work in assisted living communities. 

Assisted living residents commonly are living with a variety of chronic conditions, including high blood pressure (48%), Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (42%), heart disease (31%), depression (29%) and diabetes (17%).

The course was developed by epidemiology experts and senior living operators.