Thank you to author Deborah Quilter and NextAvenue for an even-handed article about nursing homes and for mentioning my work. NextAvenue is “public media’s first and only national journalism service for America’s booming older population. [Their] daily content delivers vital ideas, context and perspectives on issues that matter most as we age.”
Keeping great caregivers is one of the biggest challenges the facilities face
Massaging elderly residents’ hands is one of the favorite parts of Kathy Hehl Curran’s job at Filosa’s Hancock Hall, a nursing home in Danbury, Conn. The registered nurse says it makes her charges feel relaxed, and sometimes they’ll confide their worries.
“It’s a way to make them feel good and to validate their concerns,” Curran says. “If something comes up that needs to be taken care of, then I need to go to the right person and make that happen.”
Curran has been at her job for 36 years. This speaks volumes about not only her devotion to her work but also Hancock Hall’s winning formula for retaining caregiving staff. Curran credits this to the facility being owned and operated by a family rather than a corporation.
“If you’re not taking care of your caregivers, how are they going to deliver good care for your clients?”
When Curran wanted to go back to school, her employers made it possible for her to do that and keep her position. She could move to several different jobs within the company, rather than leave her job to gain other experience. Curran also likes the teamwork and supportive administration at her workplace.
Curran’s experience highlights many reasons why caregivers stay: devotion to the population, having their needs met by administration and the autonomy to correct problems that arise.