Senior Helpers, AccordCare See Results From Enhanced Training Programs

Despite industry-wide staffing woes, home-based care providers are starting to notch some tallies in the win column when it comes to recruiting and retention.

Senior Helpers is one of those providers. The company operates a handful of training centers, which allow them to upskill caregivers. Each center is modeled to replicate an apartment, including a bedroom, living room and kitchen.

“They have to show us all their skills in each of those environments,” Senior Helpers COO Mari Baxter recently said during Home Health Care News’ Non-Medical Home Care Webinar Series. “If they’re lacking some skills, we’re going to show them how to do that.”

Maryland-based Senior Helpers is a home care company that operates over 380 franchise locations in the U.S., Canada and Australia. Senior Helpers is one of the largest franchise companies in the home care space. The company was acquired by Waud Capital, a Chicago-based middle-market private equity firm, in March.

Being able to replicate caregivers’ working environment allows Senior Helpers to bring an element of reality to training sessions.

These training centers have also allowed the company to widen its pool of caregiver applicants.

“We were able to take the individuals who always wanted to be a caregiver, but couldn’t afford to be a caregiver, or didn’t know how to be a caregiver, and train them,” Baxter said. “There was a whole group of individuals who were displaced during COVID, like restaurant workers. We went after that audience and said, ‘If you want to be a caregiver, we can show you how to be a caregiver.’”

Baxter noted that increased training has resulted in improved retention for Senior Helpers.

“If I have a caregiver who may feel overwhelmed with the client, as the client’s needs are progressing, I can bring them in,” she said. “We can spend time training them, upskill them, get their confidence built up, … it’s actually much more efficient and cheaper than trying to go out and recruit people all the time.”

AccordCare is another company that has been able to weather the industry-wide staffing storm.

Marietta, Georgia-based AccordCare is a home-based care company that operates in Georgia, Alabama, Florida, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina and South Carolina.

AccordCare CEO Brandon Ballew — also during the webinar series — said that the company is hiring more staff. Retention has also been improving.

Similar to Senior Helpers, Ballew sees value in extensive training for caregivers.

“You can constantly invest in them becoming a more rounded professional, [and] they give that back to you,” he said. “They’re now getting more dedicated to the company, as opposed to the client. Historically, we saw caregivers that wanted to work in their neighborhood, or work close to home, and they would go to one house and they were really more engaged with our client, less with you as the company.”

Caregivers’ greater dedication to the company has also been a strong word-of-mouth recruitment tool for AccordCare.

“They’re sticking and they’re starting to bring their friends, and we’re seeing a lot more of that as well,” Ballew said.

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