In a recent article published by McKnight's Senior Living, a survey of caregivers in Texas showed that while pay was an important factor in staying in the senior services field, it wasn't the only driver of satisfaction. This is contrary to what most managers believe. The study listed feeling respected, job flexibility and pride in the physical workplace as important to staff connected to their work. So, how can the industry make small, but impactful shifts to improving retention among caregivers and other roles? Here are a few simple ideas to get your wheels turning:
Direct care workers are home health aides, personal care attendants, certified nursing assistants or caregivers. They provide a wide range of necessary services, include helping with activities of daily living, such as bathing, dressing and eating to helping cleaning homes, prepare meals, managing medication regimens, companionship and much more. Direct care workers play a critical role in aging services and provide the bulk of long-term care. Despite their importance, they often provide care under stressful working conditions, do not have opportunities for career advancement and are among the lowest paid workers.
The Aging Services Industry faces a triple-whammy when it comes to workforce turnover and retention.
The first hit is the massive turnover that occurred and continues to occur because of the pandemic. Second, the turnover is on top of existing unfillable vacant positions. Thirdly, there are new entrants into the field who have no prior experience caring for older adults.
We don't want just warm bodies. Yet, providers had to scurry and pull from every corner to get to bare staffing requirements. Now, providers hang on hope that the good employees will not jump ship as the pandemic fades. What are we to do about this massive issue?
Much of the focus will continue to be on recruiting new employees, and rightly so. However, great attention needs to be given to how to keep the new, good employees. At the same time, it is critical to also maintain the spirit and engagement of the seasoned employees.
Topics: AGE-u-cate Training Institute, Senior Care Professionals, aging services, Training, Hospital Professionals, Caregiver Training, aging, AGE-u-cate®, education, AGE-u-cate Training Insitute, Employees, Pam Brandon, turnover, older adults, AGE-u-cate Training, REVEAL Aging
Topics: AGE-u-cate Training Institute, dementia care, Senior Care Professionals, dementia, compassionate touch, Dementia Live, AGE-u-cate Training Insitute, turnover, dementia training, employee training, AGE-u-cate Training, home health
From the conversations I have every single day with our partners, I'm guessing most of you would give yourselves an adequate score at best. And perhaps this is on a good day. "Empowering Your Caregivers" - some of you might just be asking what exactly I mean by empowering caregivers.
High staff turnover in long-term care is certainly not a recent phenomenon. Going back to the 1970s studies pointed to average turnover rates for registered nurses (RNs), licensed vocational nurses (LVNs) and certified nursing assistants (CNAs) ranging between 55% - 75%. With growing demands for these professions as our aging population explodes, many providers are reporting upwards of 100% turnover. Many factors need to be addressed - one being how we are preparing this workforce to work with the growing numbers of older adults with dementia? Leaders have many options for dementia training. What do we hear most often? Keep it simple and engage the learner!