In-home care agency takes steps to trim caregiver turnover

Source: Cathy Molitoris, Lancaster Online, November 15, 2015

….But Lancaster-based Independent Living Services is trying to stem the tide, by launching initiatives to combat burnout among its 175 caregivers. The initiatives — which include more hours, better training and more support — are hoped to cut its annual turnover rate from 60 percent to 40 percent…. “If we want to retain quality caregivers, we have to be able to provide hours,” Franey says. So the agency plans to provide full-time jobs even though it will cost more in salaries and benefits…. Boyd adds that spending money on the back end will reduce the upfront expenses that go into traditional recruitment methods. …. Franey and Boyd are also working hard to make sure their caregivers have the support they need to do their job well. “We created a lab in both of our facilities,” Franey says, noting that Independent Living Services also has an office in Tamaqua. “We’re offering hands-on training.” The lab, which opened in September, shifts the focus on training away from just communicating what needs to be done to an active learning experience, where caregivers can see firsthand how to do many of the tasks their job requires…. To better support caregivers, Accessing Independence also has started a safety mentor program. … In addition, the agency has created a transitional care attendant position for experienced care attendants. ….