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The Lives of Caregivers

Enriching the Lives of Caregivers

Throughout the country businesses of all kinds are facing challenges related to staffing, with healthcare-related organizations confronting particularly difficult hurdles. An already tight labor market continues to shrink as workers’ priorities shift toward greater work-life balance. In the wake of the pandemic, many healthcare professionals are leaving due to burnout and exhaustion. And as the massive Baby Boomer generation ages, an increasing need for dementia-related care is expected.

“At ComfortCare Homes our promise is to deliver the highest level of care to our residents, and that clearly requires attracting and retaining superior caregivers,” says President Doug Stark. “We’ve taken significant steps this year to invest and reward loyal employees and to be the employer of choice for professional caregivers in the region.”

Employer of Choice

In 2021 ComfortCare Homes implemented across-the-board pay raises, bringing compensation to above-market rates. And new programs and efforts are under way to expand professional and personal development opportunities.

By focusing on the “why” behind the work, Micala Gingrich-Gaylord, Vice President of Operations, says the company is being more human-centric. “We’re asking each employee, ‘What does success look like to you?’ in order to help everyone experience more joy and purpose on the job.”

Enhanced Workplace Support

To enhance the workplace experience, more on-the-job support and coaching is available. “When a resident is having a bad day, we want to come alongside our caregivers to provide relief and in-the-moment encouragement, or even the chance to step away for just a few minutes,” says Gingrich-Gaylord.

Four times a year caregivers will also attend training sessions, or what ComfortCare Homes is calling “Care University.” Subjects will focus on personal development topics such as financial planning and how to practice self-care. “We all know from personal experience the importance of taking care of ourselves so we can have the energy to take care of others,” Gingrich-Gaylord says.

Encouraging friendships and support among the staff is also important, says Gingrich-Gaylord. Team and relationship building helps to foster cooperation and empathy. And on a lighter note, incorporating elements of fun during the day can relieve moments of stress to allow everyone to refocus and relax, creating a better environment for employees and residents.

“Everything we’re doing for our caregivers will have benefits for those we serve and help employees achieve success in their careers,” says Stark. “We want long-term employees who can advance through the years at ComfortCare Homes. But even if life takes you in another direction, our hope is that you are a better caregiver because of the time you’ve spent here.”

ComfortCare Homes values both our residents and those who care for them. If you have questions about dementia or would like to discuss the ways in which our staff offers personalized care for your loved one, please call (316) 685-3322 for a confidential conversation or to schedule a free tour and consultation.

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