By Susan Saldibar
As a child of the ’60s, I’ve witnessed a lot of worker revolts over the years. And this senior care labor shortage sure has the earmarks of one in the making. I haven’t seen the signs and demonstrations yet, but hey, give it time.
Why? Because health care workers did more than quarantine last year.
- They hunkered down, cobbled together odd jobs to pay the bills.
- Then, they got smart. “Wait, maybe I can do better than this.”
- So they put their antennae up, scouting around for something that looked more appealing than, say, 18-hour days run ragged doing everything but providing quality care to residents.
This was all heating up long before the pandemic brought it to a full boil. And that’s why nobody’s expecting the ready-to-work floodgates to open when things finally do settle down.
The million-dollar question is: What will get them back?
- More money?
- A more rewarding work environment?
Yes, yes, and there are more where those came from.
Putting the money part aside for now, what about the work environment? This is where operators have some cards to play.
Since I write a lot about technology, I’m stoked to say that technology can give a big leg up here. But for it to work, we need to get over all the hype about how cool it is and focus on benefits and value.
Do you want to add value really fast? Start with Caavo’s TV-based platform.
Simple Yet Sophisticated
Caavo (a Foresight partner) has created a simple (the sophisticated part is built in) piece of technology that you can plug into every resident’s TV set. A connection here, a plugin there, and you are turning on a world of game-changing benefits to residents, families, and your staff — benefits that five minutes ago they didn’t have, by the way.
Here are some you’ll appreciate:
- Let’s start with staff since that’s where so much focus is right now. Caavo automates their mundane tasks (such as running around to do check-ins), giving them the breathing room to focus on hands-on caregiving.
- It gives staff tools to personalize the resident experience and delight residents. This leads to giving them more of a say in what’s happening and how you are serving residents. And it’s fun to use!
- Residents gain more independence because they can arrange for their own check-ins, request maintenance callbacks, and use the Caavo-activated TV to communicate with family members and other residents. They don’t feel as dependent upon staff.
- Families gain transparency. This is huge, because they’re not left wondering what’s happening and when. (By the way, that means fewer frantic calls to staff, “Is Mom OK?”) They can use Caavo to see that Mom requested a maintenance callback and that maintenance responded two hours later. They can even help Mom turn the channel and watch shows together. How else do you get that level of visibility and interaction? Think of the heat that takes off the backs of your CNAs and other support staff.
Using Technology to Connect People
Notice we’re talking about benefits and value, not the ins and outs of the technology itself. That’s as Caavo wants it, because …
- Technology should always be additive. So, just because check-ins can be automated, it’s not in place of in-person interaction! It just makes those interactions more meaningful.
- Technology should strengthen connection. So, in addition to in-person book club meetings, you can send group chats with recommendations in between meetings. Staff can turn on everyone’s TV to display an important announcement (bus is leaving, elevator not working, etc.). I hate to be redundant, but think of the staff time this saves!
- Technology needs to have built-in privacy and respect resident preferences.
- Technology should be super easy to use, for residents, families, and staff.
Look, all the hand-wringing in the world isn’t going to knock this mountain down to size. But taking actions that are simple and yet proven to improve life for staff, residents, and their families is a great start.
Employees want the hours they spend inside your doors to be better and to be more fulfilling, and they want to love coming to work every day. A TV plus Caavo opens up a huge opportunity to transform how your staff’s hours are spent within your community. If you do nothing else this year, give it a try.
Next steps? Go to www.caavo.com. It’s super easy to get a demo. So do it!