HIV/AIDS Caregiver Education & Training Programs

by Our House of Portland
Client with Caregiver at an Adult Foster Home
Client with Caregiver at an Adult Foster Home

As HIV continues to change and the population ages, we see more people with HIV needing additional care.  We also notice that many residential care facilities do not know how to care for someone with HIV.  There is still a lot of stigma surrounding HIV and how to compassionately care for those with this diagnosis. 

Recently we chatted with leaders of the new Coordinated Care Organizations in Oregon to discuss the best way to care for people with HIV.  We feel that we need proper training and education for all caregivers that care for anyone with an HIV diagnosis.  This will minimize the stigma and provide more compassionate care for those that need additional consideration.

We will continue to provide information, eduation and training to those caregivers that need additional help with some of our clients.  We will also push for additional funding for this project.

We have held several strategic meetings with various groups over the past few months:

During our Board/Staff Retreat we discussed our future strategies and how we could get sustainable funding for them.  Some of the goals that were discussed were:

- Connect with CCO's in Oregon to become a provider for that organization to care for their clients with HIV/AIDS

- Look into expansion of our Neighborhood Housing and Care Program to include aspects of:

  • Caregiver Training and Education for various levels of caregivers and care-giving services
  •  Home Care and Home Health Care

- Obtain sustainable funding for each of the items above.

We have met with the staff of Health Share Oregon - the largest CCO in Oregon to discuss our involvement.

We are scheduling meetings with FamilyCare and others to discuss similar items.

Nursing Staff Training Session
Nursing Staff Training Session

This Spring we conducted a survey of providers and caregivers in the adult care community.  We did an assessment of how much they knew about HIV and asked follow-up questions.  Most of the group indicated that they would like additional training on caring for people with HIV, but that they had not had much contact with clients with HIV.  Much of the training needed would be in HIV transmission and caring for those with other co-morbidities.

Presentations were given in Seattle at an HIV conference, as well as in conjunction with Friendly House's Gay and Grey project where older gay adults are presented with information that is uniquely relevant to aging as a gay adult.

Ongoing strategies will be to work with the newly formed Coordinated Care Organizations (CCO's) to be a provider for those with HIV/AIDS and to strategically increase our services to help people stay in their homes as long as possible and to avoid higher cost health care.

Exercise Class for Clients
Exercise Class for Clients

Although we have not yet heard if we will receive a grant to fund this project, we have begun to create the basis for training.  Several of the clinical staff have been doing research and have created presentations for meetings, seminars and webinars.  This helps us to see how much need there is out in the communities for this service. 

As we provide continue to provide services for people with HIV/AIDS in their homes, we see an increasing need for this type of training - not only for the caregivers, but for the clients themselves.  If we can create an environment where medication management, safety, exercise and good nutrition is a priority, we can avoid many more expensive alternatives for care such as hospitalizations or ER visits.

We are also working with some of the organizations who are creating the Coordinated Care Organizations for Oregon (CCO's) where funding this project is a good possibility.

Clinical Retreat
Clinical Retreat

We have applied for the Health Care Innovations Grant from CMS.  We requested $1 million in funding for a $2 Million project.  IBM will be collaborating with us to provide equipment and consulting services to set up distance learning and virtual care training modules.  This project is very consistent with the new Coordinated Care Organizations that are being set up in Oregon and will provide more competent care for people with HIV.  It will also reduce overall costs by decreasing visits to the emergency rooms and hospitals.  The executive summary is below:

“The United States will become a place where new HIV infections are rare and when they do occur, every person, regardless of age, gender, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity or socio-economic circumstance, will have unfettered access to high quality, life-extending care, free from stigma and discrimination” – Vision for the
National HIV/AIDS strategy

In the United States, 1.2 million people are infected with the HIV virus.  That number is growing at the rate of one new infection every 9 ½ minutes.  As the uncertainty of government funding grows, it is necessary to look at new ways of treating those that are infected with the disease. 

Goals of the Project:  Reduce Utilization of Higher Cost Care:

  • Expand existing home-based services for people with HIV
  • Create education and training resources for people with HIV and their caregivers
  • Provide education and training to other care facilities to increase knowledge and
    reduce the stigma of HIV
  • Create a communications and technology infrastructure to provide remote education, training
    (distance learning) and direct services (tele-medicine)
  • Create a realistic funding model that is flexible and sustainable

Total budget:  $2,212,183

Number of projected participants: 2000+

Projected total cost of care savings: $15,309,600

Through a unique partnership with IBM, this project will expand an existing, award-winning, proven model of care and supplement it with caregiver education and training utilizing virtual care and distance learning technology.  Through collaborative partnerships, we will increase our workforce with people that have both clinical and training skills as well as expertise with current technology.  We will acquire hardware and software that will enable us to provide virtual care as well as distance learning.

It will provide better healthcare to people with HIV by making multi-disciplinary resources available to them both directly and through virtual delivery.  It provides better heath to the HIV population by providing education and training to both patients and caregivers to better understand the care that HIV disease requires.  It provides lower costs by reaching more people and decreasing use of high cost emergency room and hospital care.  Current data from our existing Neighborhood Housing and Care Program proves that providing critical education and services
around symptom and medication management to the HIV population measurably prevents emergency department visits and reduces the length of hospital stays.  Evidence has also shown significant decreases in hospitalizations and stabilization of housing through improved adherence to HIV drugs and other therapies.

This project offers a new model of lower-cost, higher-impact care that is scalable both to address the national scope of anticipated HIV disease futures and to further reduce costs and improve health and healthcare for other high-risk populations.  Because the virtual care component and caregiver training modules are delivered through internet and cloud computing, there is the potential to greatly expand the number of people with HIV that we are able to serve, as well as their caregivers across the nation.  As this population ages, other comorbidities become much more apparent and will be integrated into the model. This program could be a model of care for the new Coordinated Care organizations in Oregon, as well as for the President’s Strategy on HIV/AIDS.


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Organization Information

Our House of Portland

Location: Portland, OR - USA
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Allen Brady
Portland, OR United States

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