The prevalence of cancer, diabetes, and other chronic diseases, as well as a considerable rise in the geriatric population, is increasing the demand for senior care services.
Working in this sector takes a special kind of person. Depending on the health of the individual receiving care, senior care roles can include everything from monitoring and administering medication, transporting elderly patients to medical appointments, preparing special meals, to bathing, and changing diapers.
Even before the pandemic hit, many senior care workers struggled and quit. Post-pandemic, the high turnover rate among U.S. elderly care workers is a growing cause for concern for providers of elderly care facilities. For employers, this instability is bad news for quality care, continuity, and morale.
In this article, we’ll consider some strategies employers in this sector can adopt to make their organizations more appealing to prospective job candidates.
Providers of long-term senior care rely on healthcare workers and other support staff who are often the eyes, ears, and limbs of the people in their care. Given the high-stress levels that come with this kind of job, too often, elderly care workers end up feeling emotionally overwhelmed, physically fatigued, and mentally irritable.
In addition, many of these workers earn near-poverty-level wages. Just consider these figures:
The current staffing shortages also extend to nursing home roles. Nursing homes are losing nurses, dietary aides, and housekeepers who are being drawn to better-paying jobs at the likes of Amazon. Here’s why:
It’s not all that surprising that hundreds of thousands of workers are leaving the caregiving industry. Since January 2020, 400,000 nursing home and assisted living staff have quit, citing pandemic exhaustion as well as low pay and lack of advancement opportunities. These job losses happen when the country already faces an elder caregiver shortage. Some 10,000 people turn 65 every day, and birth rates continue to decline, but right now, there aren’t enough workers to fill the demand.
Senior patients, their families, and care institutions will face drastic consequences unless this trajectory can be stopped and reversed.
Given their limited budgets, the option of increasing salaries and offering comprehensive insurance and retirement benefits isn’t a feasible one for many employers in this sector. However, there are some creative and easy-to-implement tactics they can adopt to increase their employee value proposition.
Here are our top 5:
Look for ways to create roadmaps for employee learning and development by partnering with local community colleges that offer training programs, incentives, or worker loan forgiveness.
Giving people more freedom and autonomy when scheduling their workday is an effective way to afford them a greater work-life balance. With an app such as that offered by Payactiv, senior care workers can view the company’s shift schedule online, which makes picking up or swapping shifts easy. This option also avoids the problem of having to pay staff overtime and/or employing agency workers during busy periods.
Financial wellness programs include services that help address people’s immediate financial needs. They help employees to take steps toward long-term financial stability and growth through the provision of tools and coaching.
On-demand pay models like Earned Wage Access (EWA) contribute to employees’ financial and mental health as they don’t have to resort to borrowing money from friends or family, payday loans, credit cards, or overdraft fees in between their regular paychecks. They can maintain their dignity, put food on their tables, pay for emergencies, and budget for the future.
Many senior care workers value an organization’s culture over a better salary. One way to build employee engagement is to invest in a workplace communication app. With this digital tool, you can ensure that everyone feels acknowledged and part of the team, irrespective of where they may work on any given day.
With some 10,000 Americans turning 65 every day, and the number of seniors expected to reach 94.6 million by 2060, ensuring the nation’s senior care sector – and staff – are prepared is more crucial than ever.
Right now, the competition between senior care employers to attract the attention of scarce talent is intensifying.
If you’re an employer in this sector, we’d welcome the opportunity to explore how we can help you enhance your employee benefits package with a few simple steps.
With Payactiv, you can help your senior care workers participate fully in work and life. Our all-in-one Livelihood benefits platform takes a holistic approach to improving financial wellness and increasing employee satisfaction. Our attractive, flexible workforce rewards and benefits cost nothing to your company but deliver immense value to your employees.
To learn more about Payactiv’s services, get in touch with us.
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