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  • Writer's picturePam

Always Shorthanded

One of the things that is common on all of the places my mom has been is a lack of consistent staffing. It seems like everyday it is either "we are shorthanded" or someone has left. This is one of the most frustrating things about senior living and something you will face at almost any facility. My mom calls me a lot complaining that someone new is giving her a shower and that many times an employee who is not a caregiver is covering fro someone. For example today the head person who handles move in procedures was subbing as an all night caregiver working a double shift. So I have several issues with this.

First of all if a facility is so short staffed that they have to pull administrative staff in to handle caregiving needs that is concerning. Do those employees even know the procedures for each of the residents? Are they familiar and trained in how to bathe and handle other caregiving needs? It is also concerning to me when that employee is working a double shift into the night. Is that staff member alert and at their best to handle elderly people?

One of the reasons they can't keep their staff is that these larger companies do not pay the caregivers enough money for the hard work they are doing caring for seniors. They pay them very minimal hourly rates and expect them to do heavy lifting and take people to the bathroom and many other difficult jobs and also hope they will do it with a pleasant demeanor which is also hard to find. It does not happen often.

I tried to talk with an administrator at one of the first places we were at. She explained that she was trying to get corporate to give bonus pay and even gift cards as rewards to staff but corporate said no. She also said she asked for better pay to keep the aids more consistent and that was denied as well. So I guess they get what they pay for. However, who is suffering the most when this happens? Our loved ones! Not the company bank account.

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