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Caregiver turnover is a serious concern for home care agency leaders. Just a few years ago, the caregiver turnover rate was above 80%, making home care executives list retention at the top of their priority list. While caregiver turnover rates depend on a variety of factors that can shift from city to city and market to market, one thing is certain: your agency must focus on retention in order to create an agency that lasts and has a reputation of stability in your area. So with that being said, let’s take a look at a few important factors that impact caregiver retention and how your agency can decrease turnover by empowering caregivers. 

Why Caregivers Leave & How to Change That

Caregivers are a hot commodity in all markets, and most home care agency executives struggle to maintain a consistent staff roster. Caregivers leave for a variety of reasons, and most reasons are actually not tied to pay rate or benefits packages. While you should certainly offer competitive salary and benefits, you can have a leg-up on the competition in regards to keeping your staff by choosing to focus on creating a culture of empowerment and inspiration.

Empowered caregivers not only provide better care to clients, but they also feel important to their home care agency, which in part leads to less turnover for your agency. The key to empowerment and inspiration begins with education.

Unfortunately, most home care agencies do not have a comprehensive training plan for their organization. Creating a training plan for caregivers takes a lot of work that many executives simply do not have. However, when you commit the time to developing a training plan and policy for your agency, you are demonstrating you are dedicated to empowering your caregivers.

Home Care Agency Training Curriculum Checklist

Not sure how to develop a comprehensive curriculum for your team? That’s okay. Start with our basics checklist and then add on based on your state regulations, national best practices, and personal experience. 

Your home care training plan should include, at a minimum:

A comprehensive orientation curriculum, for all new staff members upon hire, that covers basics like:

  • Attendance policy
  • Dress code policy
  • Emergency policies when in a client’s home
  • How to use the care plan
  • How to report changes or questions to the agency
  • Punching in/out
  • Client and Caregiver Rights
  • Communication standards in regards to teammates, family members, etc.
  • Common diagnoses and standards of care
  • How aging affects the body
  • Dementia interventions
  • Food preparation and best practices
  • Quality of life and activities

Skills demonstration for caregivers prior to starting in the home, that can include skills like:

  • Assisting with dressing, showering, and other ADLs
  • Catheter care
  • Transferring (bed to wheelchair, wheelchair to chair, etc.)
  • Giving a bed bath
  • Medication cueing

Monthly in-service training, for all staff members, that can include topics like:

  • Client Rights
  • Back Safety and Proper Transfers
  • Reminiscing
  • Safe Transportation
  • Listening and Body Language
  • Range of Motion Exercises

If you are like most home care executives, you might be wondering how you will develop a curriculum; and more importantly, how you will assure your team members are completing the classes in a timely fashion. After all, it can be difficult getting your caregivers out of their client homes and all together for a monthly meeting.

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