There’s no place like home, especially when aging in place, recovering from an illness or surgery, or living out your last days. We offer expert assistance from top of the line care professionals. Our caregivers are superheroes in scrubs. However, we just don’t have enough of them and it’s an issue across the country. This is a multifaceted crisis.
IS THERE A CAREGIVER SHORTAGE?
The United Disabilities Services Foundation says the national caregiver shortage is expected to reach 151,000 by 2030 and 355,000 by 2040.
WHAT IS THE NUMBER ONE CAUSE OF THE CAREGIVER CRISIS?
Any crisis usually has multiple and complex causes and explanations, but in this case, the number one reason behind the increasing lack of good caregivers to meet the needs of elderly is the rapid aging of the U.S. baby boomer population. An overwhelming number of seniors are opting to receive care in their home rather than in an institution.
Additionally, part of the problem is that there are few incentives to attract and retain home-care workers. Low wages and benefits, hard-working conditions, heavy workloads, and a job that has been stigmatized by society makes worker recruitment and retention very difficult.
Home care providers also struggle to recruit and retain workers who don’t want the stress of caring for those with physical disabilities and/or mental health issues, such as dementia and depression. Workers in the lower-income bracket can, in most cases, get paid more to do other jobs that are less challenging and more appealing. These other jobs usually don’t require a background check, specialized training, or driving to people’s homes in bad weather. As a result, there are many seniors going without the care they need, or being placed on long waiting lists, or experiencing declining health conditions due to the caregiver shortage.
Rebuilding the caregiver workforce will require applying a number of strategies that address the variety of challenges these healthcare workers face.
HOW IS INDIANA ADDRESSING THE CRISIS?
Indiana is taking a comprehensive, multifaceted approach to solving the caregiver shortage. Although we try to stay apprised of what’s happening, it’s ALOT to keep up on. One of the main approaches they’re taking is an even more client-centered-care-model – 360º of care coordination:
For more information about how Indiana is addressing the crisis, visit: https://www.in.gov/fssa/da/projects/long-term-care-transformation-project/
HOW IS SAFEGUARD JOY ADDRESSING THE CRISIS?
In our opinion, a big part of the caregiver shortage is simply the lack of respect and honor shown to that labor force. What I mean by that is the fact that it is not a more high paying job or a career that is pursued in the same light one looks to other jobs in the healthcare field – they’re seen, and often treated as the “low persons on the totem pole”. Caregiver Pay Rates are tied to reimbursement/bill rates. Most of our client services are state funded through Veterans Affairs and Medicaid Waiver funding. Those rates are fixed and they’re fixed at a very low rate; therefore, our pay rates are fixed. We can’t simply increase “the price of our goods” so that we can increase the pay rate for our employees. We’re a little more tethered. Most clients are not able to pay out of pocket for our services and our services are not currently covered under medicare health care insurance plans. That is one of the challenges and one of the resolutions the MLTSS Reform project is working to rectify.
As part of Indiana’s plan, they have made available to providers a $20,000 grant opportunity to support caregivers – our Direct Service Workforce. The purpose of the grant is to help providers invest in their direct service workforce through financial compensation, wraparound benefits, and retention activities.
- Safeguard Joy has applied for this Grant and
- A requirement of that application process is to publish our plan on our website regarding our spending plan and other initiatives on how we are fighting the crisis; so here is ours:
SAFEGUARD JOY’S GOAL:
Our goal is to match great caregivers with the incredible people in our community, that just like us one day, want to remain safe and joyful in their home in their final days.
1. Caregiver Retention (Comment: Just like celebrities, Caregivers are the super stars, we are here to support and promote them.)
2. Caregiver Recruitment (Comment: It is our hope that this becomes a highly supported and coveted career.)
3. Care for as many people as God puts in front of us and entrusts us with, including our team members
a. Show Honor and Respect always in teamwork – inclusiveness, communication and workload request
b. Present and Pay for training and personal development opportunities
c. Pay for Performance
d. Communicate these differentiators to new caregiver candidates
TASKS TO ACCOMPLISH THIS:
i. Improve Internal Communication: Set Response Time Expectations outside of SOSs – $0.00
ii. Improve Performance Reviews: Set Actions Plans including Training Laddering – $0.00
iii. Improve Pay: Offer Hourly Premiums for Fulfilled Hours – $10,000
iv. Provide Compensated Recognition to FT Loyal Top Performers -$10,000
iv. If received, Communicate this Grant operative to the team
Although $20,000 won’t go far, we are grateful for the opportunity and welcome the improvements coming.
If you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.