We recently wrote about the top 10 complaints we receive from home care clients about their providers or caregivers. Kristi Larson, the Home Care Pulse Director of Customer Development, has also kept track of the top 10 complaints from home care caregivers:
1. Not Getting Paid Enough
Sometimes caregivers don’t understand why they’re getting paid minimum wage, or sometimes even lower, when the company is charging their clients $20+/hour. There are a lot of expenses when running a home care agency, so if you’re unable to pay more, then explain where the money goes and why you can’t afford it.
2. Training Scheduled During Times They Can’t Attend
This can’t always be solved, but try sending an email or calling each caregiver for specific times that will work, and then schedule trainings for a time that works best for the most people.
3. Not Updating Care Plans
Some caregivers don’t update a client’s care plan, which makes the next caregiver unprepared for the job. Make it a company policy that each caregiver must put detailed notes in care plans to make sure the client is receiving everything they need.
4. Different Expectations
Picture a caregiver going into a new client’s home. They may think they only need to sweep, make a meal and check vitals, but a family member says the client needs a bath, to be fed and given medication. The visit becomes much more complicated than anticipated because of a lack in communication. Take the time to communicate with your caregivers and give them an accurate idea of what their responsibilities are for each client.
5. No Mileage Reimbursements
With gas prices as they are, long drives without reimbursements are justifiably frustrating for caregivers. When they’re receiving minimum wage and driving a few hours every day, they could be potentially losing money. Compensating on gas could go a long way in making your caregivers happier. If you’re afraid of caregivers claiming mileage used for non-work related tasks, use Google maps and other online tools to find the distances between your caregivers’ destinations and only pay what can be justified. But by showing your efforts to be fair with them, they will be more likely to be fair with you.
6. No Benefits
Working full-time but not receiving benefits can make employees disconnected to the job, forcing them to look for work elsewhere (especially if they have children). Rewarding long-term caregivers with vacation days, maternity leave or paid time off shows that you value them and the work they do.
7. Taking Care of Multiple Clients in One Home but Only Being Paid for One
Caregivers feel that if they’re providing care for multiple people, they deserve to be paid for multiple people. This doesn’t mean you need to pay them double, but perhaps a couple dollars more since they’re essentially doing twice the work.
8. Clocking in With Client’s Phone
Caregivers feel strongly that this creates an uncomfortable situation when they have to use the client’s phone to clock in. Some clients aren’t aware of the requirement and don’t feel comfortable with the caregiver using their cell phone. Others are aware and still feel awkward with the situation. So if possible, have caregivers keep track of hours using a computer, their cell phone or a sheet of paper that is signed by the client or a family member.
Scheduling back-to-back appointments is difficult on caregivers. The driving time could force them to leave a job early or be late to the next. Try scheduling clients with 30-45 minutes in between, that way caregivers aren’t put in an impossible situation.
10. Not Enough Appreciation from the Agency
Many caregivers said their employer doesn’t praise their hard work, making them very dissatisfied with their job. This can be the easiest problem to fix by simply saying thank you, rewarding excellent work with gift cards or starting up an “employee of the month” program.
It’s difficult to perfect all of these aspects of a caregivers’ job, but you can pick one or two to start implementing and build from there. It’s important to think about your caregivers, to cater to their needs and let them know that you appreciate their hard work. By doing whatever you can to help them be satisfied with their job, they’re more likely to be loyal employees who stick around long-term.