Caregiver Churn Remains Key Challenge for Home-Based Care Providers

Home-based care providers had plenty of COVID-19-related challenges to overcome, including personal protective equipment (PPE) shortages and cash-flow difficulties. Yet caregiver churn remains the top concern for many in-home care operators.

It’s one of the greatest roadblocks to growth as well.

The public health emergency has only compounded the staffing challenges that have plagued providers for years, a recent survey from AlayaCare and Home Health Care News revealed. Of 162 home-based care professionals surveyed, about 60% said employee churn increased within their organizations as a result of COVID-19.


Caregiver churn is one of the top five pain points for providers in 2021, along with inconsistent scheduling for team members, utilization of existing team members, the caregiver shortage, and poor routing and workflow management.

One way providers can get ahead of caregiver churn is by tracking and examining data around their organization’s hiring and onboarding process, Naomi Goldapple, head of AlayaLabs at AlayaCare, said during a recent webinar hosted by HHCN.

“If there’s a big lag between the date that [caregivers] are hired and when they get their first shift, … they have a tendency really to churn,” Goldapple said. “If we can have that data at our fingertips and are able to monitor exactly what they’re doing in the first 30, 60, 90 days — making sure they have shifts, making sure they feel like they’re part of the fold, making sure they’re being onboarded properly — that can do wonders.”


Montreal-based AlayaCare is a software platform and secure cloud-based system that includes clinical documentation, client and family portals, remote patient monitoring, and mobile caregiver functionality.

Amid the COVID-19 emergency, ensuring employee safety also goes a long way in reducing churn.

“Not unnecessarily putting them in harm’s way is super important in today’s outcomes-driven economy,” Brett Kirhofer, associate director of sales at Hireology, said during the webinar. “Are you training employees on proper sanitation protocols? Are you providing them with the appropriate PPE to enter the workplace or a patient’s home? Overemphasizing and over-communicating the importance of them being safe will get them more eager and excited to come work for your organization.”

Hireology is a talent-technology platform that provides candidate marketing and recruitment CRM services to home care and home health agencies, along with companies in other industries.

Another key finding from the survey: a lack of hours or inconsistent hours is a main driver of caregiver churn. Compensation, training and the demanding nature of the job are likewise factors.

Overall, 80% of the AlayaCare-HHCN survey respondents said that caregiver churn is disruptive to their organization’s bottom line. Even so, just half said their organizations were willing to invest to address the issue.

Many of the survey respondents said their companies are trying to better predict caregiver churn. To better retain employees, many are leveraging training-and-development programs.

Training and development allows home care providers to professionalize their workforce. This is especially important at a time when providers are competing with other hospitality industries for talent, according to Aaron Dun, senior vice president of marketing at CareAcademy.

“Think about what traditional employers, if you will, are doing to engage their workforce — and bring some of those tactics into our industry,” Dun said. “If Starbucks can offer a training program for their baristas that includes college credit, then we should be able to do the same.”

CareAcademy is a Boston-based training platform for home care professionals. The company currently serves roughly 1,000 home care clients and locations.

Ultimately, providers shouldn’t rest on their laurels. It’s important to continue to throw resources behind curbing caregiver churn, according to Kirhofer.

“People investing in employee retention programs now need to continue doing that. It’s not like the clouds are going to go away, the sun’s going to come out and everything’s going to be dandy,” he said. “Retention will be a problem … for this industry for a long time.”

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