Ready to Explore Community-Based Home Care Services?
Ready to explore community-based home care services?
Like any new endeavor under consideration, gathering as much information as possible before taking the plunge will increase your chances of success.
Community-based home care services are a rapidly growing segment of the home care industry. They are found in independent senior communities, apartments, and ‘cluster’ homes where the residents are primarily healthy, may have fewer needs for assistance and are determined to continue to live there. This is a lucrative opportunity for agencies who understand how to manage this different way of providing home care, prepare properly, and have the technology to run it.
Well run community-based services create steady, recurring revenue, on-going referrals for traditional home care services as well as the community-based services and can dramatically increase caregiver retention and satisfaction rates. All uncommon in the home care industry.
Understanding the differences
- Services are primarily offered in communities where companion care, personal care and/or medication reminders cannot be offered by their staff.
- Clients have scheduled visits, not all residents will be on service. Some will have a few visits each week and others several visits every day.
- Client visits are much shorter than those in traditional home care. Visits typically range from 15min - 45min, with some agencies offering shorter and longer ones.
- Caregivers will provide services to not just one client, but to many clients while working their shift in the community.
- Depending on how many residents are on service, an agency may have several caregivers working in the community at the same time.
- The community typically offers an office or dedicated space to the agency for the caregivers to store their belongings during their shift, agencies to store equipment (gloves, etc.) and a place for caregivers to go when not with clients.
- Agencies pay the caregivers for a shift (a set number of hours) knowing that some of that time they will not be working with clients.
- Caregivers will need a schedule of client visits for each shift. Creating organized schedules increases the caregivers’ productivity, essential to profitability.
Considerations for agencies’ administrative staff
- Consider who will manage the community-based schedules, caregivers and clients. Depending on the size of the care team, establish Lead Caregivers and Community Care Coordinators.
- Establishing lines of communication among the community staff, clients, families and office staff will be essential especially when starting in the community. Consider how to prepare your on call staff as well.
- Prepare to add numerous new clients at the same time if your agency is asked to be the partner in an established community. Streamline processes whenever possible.
- Hire caregivers who want to work as a team and enjoy this social setting.
- Review your technology platform. Will it support these caregiver and client schedules? Will it provide the analytics to show profitability, caregiver utilization?
When consistent, high-quality community-based home care services are provided, agencies receive on-going referrals for traditional home care hours as well as numerous community-based care clients within the community. Imagine no cost of acquisition for those referrals? Caregivers who are prepared for this type of service have consistent shifts without the fear of losing their work hours due to one client’s emergency. They feel empowered through the teamwork that is created working with other caregivers and they have advancement opportunities within this service. With today’s shrinking pool of caregivers, economic uncertainty, and the soaring numbers of seniors, serving more clients with fewer caregivers can be a game changer for your agency.