The New Brunswick Home Support Association has introduced a new province-wide training system for workers, said president Brenda Dykeman.
Within one year, the estimated 3,500 home support workers across the province should all have a minimum standard of training, she said.
It's part of a plan to get better prepared for the wave of baby boomers needing care in the future, said Dykeman.
"The association has been very diligent in sharing the information with its members and most of the members are on board with this training. So they see the need for increased training to care for Alzheimer's patients, palliative care, and those kinds of clients who wish to stay at home," she said.
Dykeman said the move is a great step forward for home support — for both clients and employees.
Meanwhile, the association is still waiting for information about the provincial government's plans to deal with the so-called "grey tsunami."
Home care workers share the same frustrations as families and doctors when it comes to the way services are offered, said Dykeman.
Many people have to go through a lengthy screening process that requires similar assessments from different government departments, she said.
Wait times are also a problem, said Dykeman.
During the association's annual general meeting, which is being held in Saint John Tuesday and Wednesday, home care staff will discuss how the system can be improved.
"Maybe if we were more involved in the assessment and the workers are trained to a higher level, then we can fill a lot of that need. We hope that's where the training will go. We can see the need for home care," Dykeman said.
She said she hopes a greater focus on training will help recruit more workers into the industry.
As it stands, home care workers are paid just a little above minimum wage, with no guarantee of hours, no sick time and no benefits, Dykeman said.
The association represents 40 agencies.