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Do we simply not care about training caregivers?

As part of Home Care Pulse’s Satisfaction Management Program, they conduct a yearly analysis of the top ten complaints from caregivers. 

Right there at number four, sitting comfortably in the top 5, is “little or no training”. For those of us in the long term care industry, we are somewhat desensitized to this fact, but let’s just let that sink in. We are sending people to care for our seniors with little to no training. 

This does not happen because care agencies don’t want to train caregivers. 

This happens because care agencies are putting out just about as many fires as their local department each day – scrambling to hire caregivers, scheduling a growing number of new cases, dealing with emergencies, and that’s all before a morning coffee. This is the situation on the ground, but sending out caregivers that are not properly trained, or not trained at all, can result in hospitalizations or worse for clients, and burnout and even injury for caregivers. 

What strategies can home care agencies employ to ensure caregivers are trained for every scenario they will encounter, when resources are tight and time even tighter?

1. When the Why is Clear the How is Easy

While no one is saying that caregiving is easy, caregivers that know the “why” when they are going into work are much more likely to succeed. Try bringing in one of your ace caregivers to share a touching personal experience during the training process. 

2. Shift Online

Caregivers are often women who are the primary caregivers for their children and parents at home, and are juggling all of these hats at the same time. By shifting as much of the training as possible online, you are increasing the chances that your caregivers will easily be able to attend, or learn the information independently. An added bonus of shifting online is that your caregivers will be able to access this information whenever they may need a refresher. 

3. Ask the Experts

It can be challenging to get Nurses, OT’s, PT’s and other experts in to train caregivers, especially when most agencies hire new caregivers all of the time. However, there are many resources that can be accessed such as Teepa Snow’s PAC training which offers expert strategies and tips on managing dementia clients. This will not only get your caregivers ready for any situation they may face, but will also expand their skill set and knowledge, increasing their job satisfaction and retention. 

4. Utilize Technology

Home care agencies do not have endless resources to throw at caregiver training. Sensi.Ai the world’s first virtual care agent provides agencies with data that pinpoints exactly what training caregivers are missing, which can be addressed with that caregiver individually, and incorporated into training. 

5. Training Can Be Fun

While caregivers need a strong basis in transferring, personal care, dementia care and a never ending list of expertise, that doesn’t mean that training can’t be fun. Does your new caregiver love cooking? Throw in a workshop on cooking up some healthy and nutritious meals. 

Making the training a fun and memorable experience will not only increase engagement with the training, but will also increase your caregivers overall satisfaction (and ultimately up retention). 

Invest in Your Business

These are just some of the strategies you can start implementing today to take your caregiver training to the next level. Zig Ziglar said it best, “you don’t build a business, you build people, and then people build the business”. As a home care agency, caregivers are your business. An investment in your caregivers is an investment in your business.