Paying decent wages for caring staff who work with the elderly.

I have spent part of my previous working life in and around care homes providing training for the staff. I can honestly say that I did not find a bad one….what I did find was overworked, under paid staff who are expected to care for a person with different illnesses and mobilities for as little as the minimum wage.

This is not a care home bashing piece as I have nothing but admiration for those people who chose to work with the elderly as it is a difficult job and one where you must have compassion and a calling.

What my article wants to highlight is the expectations of the role against the poor pay that goes with it.

We know that some care homes can cost between £550 and £750 a week….and yet they only pay their staff the minimum wage. If a care home has some 45 residents at £550 a week will result in £1.28 million a year which is not a small sum. I know that wages have to be paid and the upkeep of the home but is it such a tiny margin that companies who own a number of houses cannot afford to pay above the living wage?

As I commented at the beginning I have worked in homes where the staff were some of the loveliest people I have ever met, and the caring and love they feel for the residents show through at every level, but caring does not pay the bills and more often than not they are having to leave their posts because they cannot afford to live once tax and NI has been taken.

Would it not be worth making the extra effort to have smaller profit turnovers and retain loyal staff as there would be savings from not having to advertise roles constantly as there is a high turnover. There would be a reduction in training costs as well as the homes being able to publicise that they have happy staff and a low turnover, as would you want to put your beloved mum or dad in a care home where the staff turnover is over 30%….as it can be unsettling, un-nerving and frightening for the elderly and they need to know that everything around them is stable.

Take a look at your staff….do you value them? Do they do a good job? Are they caring, helpful, on time and reliable? If so ….cut the profits and invest in your staff as it will result in a more positive view for your company and you will never be empty.

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