By Tyra Oldham
The need for caregivers is critical to sustaining our elderly, those with disabilities, and children. As COVID became a reality and a new way of life, the need to protect became the top of mind for the clients of caregivers and caregivers themselves. In a desire to preserve their own, caregivers made choices to examine how to care safely. The option to care safely for some led to caregivers leaving care services as private care agencies charged profitably. This new reality in the care environment is the shortage of caregivers and a care gap for our most vulnerable citizens.
Further, the impact to Black and Brown communities is always hit hardest in any tragedy or economic shift. The need for caregivers to service Black and Brown communities is vital to the care of our families. When caregivers look at and understand the culture of their clients, better service and solutions are possible. Caregivers that are culturally and elderly-centric can positively impact the day-to-day lives of their clients more effectively. I have seen the impact of empathetic care versus delivery by the numbers. The results are vastly different when empathy and cultural sensitivities are employed to improve outcomes.
Today, agencies will need to train for today and tomorrow and think sustainably about the nature of care and service delivery.
The work of the agency administration to manage compensation and family care are also needs that continue to impact the delivery of care. Pay and childcare are two concerns affecting the shortage of caregivers. The loss of caregivers continues to impact Black and Brown communities, causing many family members to become full-time caregivers and leave or reduce their work hours.
I call for a “care call,” urging caregivers to come back to the agencies and private care. The need for professional and skilled caregivers is urgent. Agencies are looking for specialized and willing client-centric professionals to step into the role of caregiving. As caregivers return to care services, clients will need care organizations to consider:
- Determine ways for low-and fixed-income to gain care when private care is not affordable.
- Develop pay and benefits packages for professional caregivers.
- Develop care plans for caregivers to support their families for them to help their clients.
- Market collaboratively across external agencies to locate new caregivers to service.
- Build models for comprehensive care solutions to deliver continuity of care for clients needing specialized services.
Caregivers are the frontline hero’s serving and delivering care as supportive and primary services to our families and friends. The work of care is a positive and an essential foundation to healthy living and is often underestimated. The “care call” is one area to begin a change in our communities to combat illness, hospitalization, and, sadly, death. We are calling on all caregivers now! You are needed today!
For more information on care support and caregiving advice, write or email the “Care Corner.” Want to discuss care? Care Corner is that place to talk care, address questions for current and potential caregivers, and provide suggestions on agencies, services, and tips to assist in a care journey. (Read more of the article from the Herald Newspaper– subscribe now)
The Care Corner is for everyone, no matter their age or process in care. For more information on caregiving, send your questions to Care Corner at the Cincinnati Herald or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.