Written by Renee Dills, Human Resources Manager at Windward Life Care.

The turnover rates for paid, professional caregivers are uncomfortably high nationwide and continue to rise each year. According to Home Care Benchmarking Study, national median caregiver turnover rates stood at 66.7% in 2017, up from 53.2% in 2013. Studies also show that the pool of available professional caregivers has continued to shrink over the past five years. Couple those statistics with the boom we are experiencing in the aging population, and it becomes clear why stable care options for your aging loved one may feel like they are hard to come by.

So how do we make sure our hardworking caregivers remain engaged and happy in their employment with Windward Life Care? It should come as no surprise that retention rates remain higher at companies where caregivers feel valued and know that their work is appreciated. At Windward, we believe taking the time to schedule regular performance evaluations with each of our caregivers is an important part of this process. The evaluations serve not only as opportunities to discuss performance feedback, but also as a valuable “check in” time for the caregiver to talk over any outstanding concerns they might have. It doesn’t hurt that each evaluation comes with the opportunity for a performance-based raise and/or bonus, making sure another well-documented piece of the retention puzzle – competitive wages – falls into place.

During these evaluations, our caregivers often share with us how thankful they are that the challenging work they do is noticed and appreciated. “I have been in this industry for years, and this is the first performance evaluation I’ve ever had. Thank you for taking the time,” a caregiver told us at her recent evaluation. We are grateful that so many of our caregivers feel this way about working with us. We are also proud that Windward’s caregiver turnover rate sat nearly 20 points below the national average in 2017 – and we feel we’ve only begun to scratch the surface on our retention goal. We are continually looking for new ways to ensure your favorite caregiver will be proud to remain a Windward employee for years to come.

As part of our continuous rigorous recruitment program, we’re always looking for people who are committed to our mission to improve the lives of our clients through services that center on the goals of the individual, and which foster a lifelong sense of purpose. We invite you to find out more about us by visiting the Careers Page on our website. Interested caregivers are able to apply online.

Note: Thank you to the Aging Life Care Association® for contributing this post.

The Aging Life Care Association is celebrating its 7th annual year of Aging Life Care Month, highlighting the Aging Life Care profession.

The Aging Life Care Association (ALCA) – the nonprofit association representing 2,000 leaders in Aging Life Care™ / care management – will celebrate the 7th annual Aging Life Care Month, which highlights the Aging Life Care profession during the month of May. The Association will begin its celebration with the 34th Annual Aging Life Care Association Conference in Chicago, IL, May 9-12, 2018.

While the practice and profession of Aging Life Care is not new, the field has been growing and is more crucial now than it ever has been. According to the 2017 Profile of Older Americans, “the 85 and over population is projected to more than double from 6.4 million in 2016 to 14.6 million in 2040 (a 129% increase).” In addition, about one in every seven Americans is an older American. As we age, our caregiving needs increase. Aging Life Care Professionals® play a significant role, as they are prepared to help aging adults plan for and face age-related challenges.

Aging Life Care is a holistic, client-centered approach to caring for older adults or others facing health challenges. The Aging Life Care Professional is a health and human services specialist who is a guide, advocate, and resource for families caring for an older relative or disabled adult. Working with families, these experts provide the answers at a time of uncertainty. Their guidance leads families to the actions and decisions that ensure quality care and an optimal life for those they love, thus reducing worry, stress and time off work for family caregivers.

They have extensive knowledge about the costs, quality, and availability of resources in their communities. As members of ALCA, Aging Life Care Professionals must meet stringent education, experience, and certification requirements of the organization, and all members are required to adhere to a strict code of ethics and standards of practice. Members may be trained in any of number of fields related to long-term care. These include counseling, gerontology, mental health, nursing, occupational therapy, psychology, social work, and other allied health professions, with a specialized focus on issues related to aging.

Aging Life Care Professionals throughout the country will celebrate National Aging Life Care Month by providing seminars, webinars, special events, open houses, and other educational activities for the public. For more information, and to find an Aging Life Care Professional near you, visit ALCA’s website aginglifecare.org.

ABOUT the Aging Life Care Association (ALCA)
ALCA (formerly known as the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers) was formed in 1985 to advance dignified care for older adults and their families in the United States. Aging Life Care Professionals® have extensive training and experience working with older adults, people with disabilities, and families who need assistance with caregiving issues. They assist families in the search for a suitable nursing home placement or extended care if the need occurs. The practice of Aging Life Care™ and the role of care providers have captured a national spotlight, as generations of Baby Boomers age in the United States and abroad. For more information or to access a nationwide directory of Aging Life Care Professionals, please visit aginglifecare.org.