Caregiver’s Training: A Paradigm Shift in Palliative Care Capacity Building

Categories: Care and Community Engagement.

The Institute of Palliative Medicine (IPM) WHO CC recently hosted  the 150th batch of its Caregiver’s Training Programme, an initiative aimed at equipping laypersons with essential skills to care for bedridden individuals.

Initially  structured as a 16-hour training course, the programme has evolved over time based on feedback from participants and trainers, now offering a more comprehensive 20-hour curriculum. With 4878 participants having completed the training to date, it’s evident that the programme is filling a crucial need.

The training manual is carefully crafted for easy comprehension, utilizing group discussions and interactive activities like role-playing to facilitate learning.

Trainers are tasked with the role of guiding participants through the learning process outlined in the manual. Covering topics such as Palliative Care concepts, Communication Skills, Ethical Issues, Spiritual issues, Basic Nursing Skills, Psycho-Social Issues, and Death and Dying,  the revised curriculum aims to provide a holistic understanding of caregiving.

Participants are empowered to grasp the biomedical, psychosocial, and spiritual dimensions of patient care and to seek help for both the patient and themselves when needed.

This programme represents a major paradigm shift  from traditional palliative care training in Kerala, where the focus has typically been on recruiting volunteers. Instead, the Caregiver’s Training Programme emphasizes extensive capacity building for informal caregivers.

The rationale behind this shift lies in the understanding that a vast majority of individuals will require palliative care at some point in their lives, with family members often serving as primary caregivers. Therefore, empowering caregivers with necessary skills is essential for comprehensive palliative care provision.

The vision behind the programme is to make caregiving skills accessible to anyone interested.

The graduates from the programme are seen to utilize their knowledge and skills various capacities, from providing care in their neighbourhoods to volunteering at palliative care units or even initiating palliative care services with the support from the local community.

Building on the experience of the Caregiver’s Training Programme, IPM has launched the Bereavement Companionship Programme. This initiative aims to equip participants with the knowledge and confidence to provide companionship to those experiencing grief.

Saif Mohammed

Faculty Member IPM WHO CC

For more details on the programme :


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