As home care industry turnover rises, some providers are finding the operations behind providing services at home are not sustainable.
An East Coast provider of a continuum of care services for seniors says it will be scaling back its home care arm in light of operational challenges. Country Meadows Retirement Communities, which operates and owns 10 communities in Pennsylvania and Maryland, said it will be discontinuing some of its Country Meadows At Home services beginning later this month.
Services under the home care arm will conclude as of August 18 for the company’s south Hills of Pittsburgh, and will end September 17 for its clients in Central Pennsylvania and the Lehigh Valley.
“It’s very disappointing to me that we are unable to sustain the community-based component of Country Meadows At Home. Restructuring is personally regrettable for me, because we have assisted clients, some of whom have been relatives, neighbors and friends, to continue living in their homes more independently and safely for more than six years,” said Michael Leader-Country Meadows President and CEO, in a press release. “We have been about quality care at Country Meadows for more than 30 years, and we take pride in being recognized as one of the best providers of senior living in our region.”
Country Meadows offers independent living, assisted living, skilled nursing, memory care and rehabilitation services among its senior care offerings. It has 10 communities and two under development.
Expanding on the challenges associated with operating a home care arm, the company cited staffing and turnover as a major challenge that differs from that of community-based senior care staffing.
“A critical difference between providing care in a retirement community versus an individual’s home is the staff scheduling demands to ensure caregivers are available when and where they are needed, and that client hours are available for caregivers. Meeting this ratio became a constant challenge,” the company said.
With the home-care industry average turnover up 30% over the past three years, Country Meadows At Home experienced turnover twice the rate present in its retirement communities.
“We monitored this trend and anticipated the need by increasing our recruiting efforts, streamlining operations, bolstering training and adjusting co-worker benefit packages. None of these actions had the sustainable impact we expected and required,” Leader said. “The success of home-based services is driven by positive relationships built over time by dedicated, trusted co-workers. Turnover affects client care. Period.”
More than 250 part-time and full-time employees will be impacted by the scaling back of Country Meadows At Home, while some areas will continue to operate the same services as previously.
Written by Elizabeth Ecker