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AGENCIES

Taking Care of Your Team

Ilya Vakhutinsky

April 29, 2020

ag-stay-healthy

The coronavirus pandemic has forced all of us to change how we do business and how we go about our daily lives. However, as home care agency owners and executives, we recognize our services are more important now more than ever. With most senior living facilities slowing down admissions (unless medically necessary) and with more seniors at home alone without support, home care agencies have the opportunity to truly shine.

In order to provide exceptional care to the seniors in your community, you need to have a team of caregivers who are ready to provide that care. Unfortunately, stressed-out caregivers who are full of anxiety are more likely to become depressed or ill themselves.

 

You owe it to your team to care for them right now. Here’s how to do it. 

 

A Cared for Team is a Healthy Team 

 

Your caregivers are especially susceptible to caregiver burnout right now. Not only are they providing services to clients who are worried and isolated, but they are also living with uncertainty and worry regarding the never-ending scary news around them.

 

When you proactively care for your team, you will see the benefits almost immediately: 

  • Less call outs
  • Fewer illnesses 
  • Better care for your clients 
  • An even better reputation for your agency which can lead to increased recruitment efforts

 

How to Care for Your Team During a Pandemic

 

Typical retention efforts are just important during these uncertain times, but you should also be focused on meeting the needs of your caregivers in the midst of a pandemic. What they need now is not necessarily what they needed only six months ago.

 

Here are some best practices that you can start to implement today that will demonstrate you care for your team:

  • Call at least one caregiver daily to check in on how they are feeling. Rotate through your staff list so that everyone gets a call from you. You’ll learn a lot from these conversations about what they are worried about and any needs they may have.
  • Make sure your caregivers have the PPE they need. There is a lot of stress and uncertainty over gloves and masks right now; simply reassuring your team you have the PPE they need will go a long way for their mental health.
  • Encourage family members to write an email or note about the services their loved one is receiving. Use these “feel good” notes to open your staff meetings or to individually praise team members.
  • Re-evaluate your sick policy and supports. Now could be the time to implement a specific coronavirus policy that extends paid sick time for employees.
  • Consider partnering with a local food pantry to get food or other necessities for caregivers who are struggling.
  • Some caregivers may not be able to get to the grocery store due to their work schedules. Consider passing out commodities like toilet paper to those staff members who need it, as well as offering to pick up items from a list on their behalf.
  • Send out coloring pages or activity packets via mail or email to staff members who have kids at home. Having something to do for their children means a lot right now since kids are at home.

 

Right now, caring for your staff means showing up as much as you can. When a team member voices a challenge to you, meet that need as quickly as possible.

 

We are here to support you as you care for your team. 

 

Take care of your team and yourself,

-Ilya

 

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