Senior Living Is Still Dealing with a Caregiver Shortage: 3 Ways Communication & Engagement Platforms Can Help
Caregivers are flocking to other positions and industries. And this turnover has forced many senior living communities and nursing homes to rely on stop-gap solutions – like agency staffing and overtime labor – long term.
But these solutions aren’t sustainable, and they can negatively impact the quality of care that residents and patients receive. Fortunately, senior living technology can help limit turnover by giving caregivers one thing they can’t get back: time.
Here are three ways communication and engagement platforms reduce workloads while enabling staff to deliver more personalized care.
1. Simplify Business Management Duties
Many senior living staff members work part time and have additional jobs. This makes creating schedules and filling open shifts a perpetual balancing act for administrators – particularly given the current caregiver shortage. Communication platforms can help simplify the scheduling process and make life easier for part-time staff.
Let’s say you’re an activities director and need additional coverage for a community pickleball tournament. With a communication platform, you can automatically send an open shift alert to your whole team. This means you don’t need to waste time…
- Contacting each available team member.
- Leaving voicemails.
- Forgetting who you’ve already contacted or who’s declined.
- Awaiting their replies.
And if your communication platform has a bi-directional function, employees can respond directly to the automated shift alert and claim the shift, which simplifies the workflow, saves you even more time, and increases the likelihood of filling open shifts.
This helps you run a thrilling event for participants and eliminates the need to rely on overtime labor, which can fatigue your staff and erode your bottom line.
Communication platforms also come in handy when you’re tracking certification and licensure statuses for staff members. Compliance monitoring pulls you away from other tasks that require your expert touch. Your communication platform can automatically send personalized reminders to each employee, which takes that logistical work off your plate while helping keep your staff compliant.
2. Streamline Daily Administrative Tasks for Frontline Care Staff
Caregivers don’t enter their line of work for the money. They enter it because they want to engage with older adults and improve their quality of life. But more often than not, tedious administrative tasks get in the way of that goal and even induce staff burnout.
Senior living technology helps your team do what they came to do: deliver care to those who need it. By giving employees a platform that helps, say, conduct daily check-ins or track event attendance, you’re also giving them a reason to stay and enjoy their daily work experience.
Your employees come to work because they want to make a difference in the lives of older adults. Help them do that. Adopt senior living technology that streamlines admin work so they can spend more time with residents, patients, and program participants.
Tackling the caregiver shortage won’t be easy – and it certainly won’t happen overnight – but senior living technology can help you limit turnover and increase employee satisfaction, which in turn improves the level of care.
3. Power Personalized Care with Data-Driven Insights
Senior living technology doesn’t just automate and streamline work for staff; it also arms them with data they can use to deliver more pinpointed care.
Engagement platforms have tools like digital calendars that help staff oversee and track event attendance over time. Suspect your bingo night wasn’t a big hit? Run an attendance report to see whether that’s true. If attendance was low, check which events had higher turnout and try emulating what made them successful.
Or if you want additional opinions, send surveys. For example, if you’re making a seasonal menu change and want to hear what residents and patients think? Try a survey – easily automated with a mass-communication platform. Use the answers to inform future changes. Maybe seasonal items become mainstays.
Surveys also help familiarize your residents and patients with technology – and that’s a huge part of successful implementations. When older adults regularly use senior living technology, it increases the data that staff can leverage.
Senior Living Technology Maximizes Caregiver Efforts
To bounce back fully from the pandemic, the senior living industry will need to solve its current caregiver shortage. But there’s reason for optimism. In a recent survey of senior living and skilled nursing leaders, nearly 75 percent expressed optimism that “workforce improvements are on the horizon.”
And while it’s always good to stay on top of governmental assistance aimed at limiting turnover, one way you can take employee retention into your own hands is by adopting senior living technology.
A final note: in case you haven’t heard, the Caremerge Engagement business has been acquired by VoiceFriend – and is rebranding to Icon. If you’re interested in leveraging an all-in-one communication and engagement platform to reduce turnover, check out the new Icon website for more information.