Loss is a part of life.
Eventually, we all experience the death of a loved one and the time of grieving that follows. Managing grief is particularly challenging in these pandemic times. As Americans mourn the loss of more than 500,000 lives to the coronavirus in just one year, another pandemic wave is cresting — one of national grief.
Benefits, especially health insurance, are a vital part of employee compensation and satisfaction. Yet getting employees to use all services available, such as wellness programs, can be challenging. Although research has found that daily engagement in wellness programs produces long-lasting behavior change, employers report that participation in wellness programs often falls short of goals.
As health systems continue to navigate the global pandemic and plan for beyond it, the need to focus on employee well-being is more critical than ever. A programmatic approach to wellness gives employees the tools and resources to make better choices, develop healthier lifestyle habits, and deliver enhanced patient care in times of unprecedented stress.
With the ongoing global pandemic, caregivers – in professional health care settings and at home – are operating in overdrive.
“Caregivers strive each day to give it their all, but they’re at continuous risk of burnout and compassion fatigue,” says Stephen Chee, director of employee wellness at Lifetime Wellness. “The extra layer of concern posed by Covid-19 has magnified the risk of caregiver fatigue.
Kevin, a professional caregiver in a leading senior living community, is typical of many in his field. He has trouble asking for help – which can lead to feelings of caregiver burnout. “I will crash and burn before saying what I need for myself,” he says. “My job is to care for, not to be cared for. I don’t want to burden others with my problems.”
Job seekers in the senior care labor market have no shortage of employment options. Employers are vigorously competing for an ever-shrinking pool of qualified staff. A key differentiating strategy for senior care employers is to be an “employer of choice” through employee wellness programs and by creating a healthy, highly supportive, employee-centric workplace.
An employee exodus continues to batter the senior living industry, with an average staff churn rate of 42 percent. Unhealthy, unhappy, and “unhinged” employees can lead to widespread fallout, from poor health outcomes and lower satisfaction for patients to higher costs and a tarnished reputation for senior care providers.
In a highly competitive senior care labor market, delivering a consistently positive experience for employees is a key differentiator. A viable way to attract and hold on to dedicated staff is through an employee wellness program– designed to enhance the physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing of those who care for residents.
Throughout the nation’s senior living communities, professional caregivers strive to deliver quality, compassionate care. But they’re often at risk of burnout. Physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion can erode their effectiveness in caring not only for residents but also for themselves – leading to compassion fatigue.
“Being a professional caregiver takes a special heart but can lead to ‘compassion fatigue,’” says Stephen Chee, director of employee wellness at Lifetime Wellness. His company provides person-centered wellness, life enrichment, and recreational programming to independent living, assisted living, skilled nursing and rehabilitation, and memory care facilities.