Bella Groves’ Commitment to Care: Solving the Employee Turnover Problem in Senior Living
At Bella Groves, we are problem-solvers. But we don’t just try to solve problems within our community or even the local San Antonio community. Instead, we look at problems from an industry level – what are the issues impacting senior living and dementia care facilities?
How can we address those issues to ensure we provide the best care possible for residents and their families?
How can we structure our business model so that we are not just a large corporation with caregivers and executives on opposite ends of the spectrum?
Senior Living Has a Problem
Year after year, the biggest challenge facing the senior living industry remains the same: workforce issues. According to Scott Tittle, Executive Director of the National Center for Assisted Living,
“The ability to recruit and retain high-quality caregivers is an ongoing challenge because of several factors. This is a hard job, and it takes a special person to work in long-term care. But it’s also an extremely rewarding career, and we must increase awareness around this idea of intrinsic value while also finding ways to stay competitive against other employers at this time of low unemployment.”
Most recent research shows that the average turnover rate in assisted living communities is greater than 50% and quickly rising. To better understand what this means, consider this scenario: if your community operates with 100 employees, a 50% turnover rate means you need to hire 50 people every year to maintain the status quo.
Understanding The Impacts of This Problem
This high turnover rate affects the entire organization, from executive leadership to the residents and their families. Some of the consequences of high turnover in senior living include:
- Financial Stress on Organization: On average, replacing an employee in senior care ranges from $3,500-$5,000. Based on the scenario above, if a community has 100 direct-care employees and a 50% turnover rate, they are spending upwards of $175,000/year to maintain adequate staffing.
- Burnout and Negative Employee Culture: When caregivers leave so often, others have to pick up shifts or put in more work to get things running smoothly; leading to the physical, mental, and emotional burnout of employees. A high turnover rate can also negatively impact employee morale and satisfaction, which may influence more caregivers to leave.
- Hiring Challenges: Largely impacted by COVID-19, hiring employees was noted as the top labor challenge for the senior living industry. This is leading more communities to ask for overtime from their employees or use staffing agencies to cover shifts.
What Does This Mean for Families?
- Negative Impacts on Care: The largest and most significant impact on the high turnover rate in senior living is its impact on care. It’s vital for individuals and families in senior living, especially in dementia care facilities, to know, recognize, and trust those providing care. When caregivers are replaced often, it can lead to inconsistent routines, uncomfortable emotions, and a general feeling of instability. It can also impact the quality of care, as proper onboarding and training procedures can be overlooked if new employees arrive frequently and are needed to start immediately.
Bella Groves is Solving This Problem
Many of us at Bella Groves started our careers in senior living as caregivers, so we know firsthand just how crucial taking care of your employees is. We believe that the caregivers are the frontline heroes of our profession and should be treated—and compensated—as such.
In Texas, most senior living wages are slightly higher than minimum wage—offering just above $10 an hour to minimum wage’s $7.25. Bella Groves, however, will be offering $15+ an hour starting, and the opportunities only grow from there.
Of course, we know that it takes more than a salary to gain employee loyalty. We want to build a team that is as passionate about dementia care as we are and become invested in the Bella Groves mission. We want to share our business success and growth with the people who keep the business running. Our profit-sharing program will give Bella Groves employees a share in our company’s profits based on its earnings.
Training and education, flexible scheduling, and longevity bonuses are additional ways we strengthen and celebrate our caregivers. In addition, we will have a higher resident-to-staff ratio than many dementia care facilities to alleviate employee burnout and stress, and Bella Groves’ leadership team will be transparent, respectful, and approachable, even working caregiving shifts themselves.
When employees are satisfied with their career and company, it reflects in their quality of work – or in this case, quality of care.
Overcoming Obstacles to Provide Better Care
In short, we believe that unless senior care organizations are willing to put their caregivers first, the quality of care will always suffer. Cared for employees means cared for residents.
While we have many goals about the future of dementia care in San Antonio, overcoming the care problem is a priority. We believe that if we can solve the issues creating barriers to quality and consistent care, we can enhance the care experience for residents and their families.