care-haven-medical-care-alzheimers-careEach Care Haven home operates with unusually high caregiver staffing levels.

Why is that important?

How long do you think your mother should wait for a glass of water when she’s thirsty? For help to the bathroom when she feels the urge? How important is it that your father be clean-shaven or wear his dentures?

Responding to emergencies, addressing potentially dangerous situations and performing routine duties take precedence in any memory care facility. In a larger unit, these tasks often consume all of the staff’s time. In a Care Haven home, our high staffing levels help us preserve residents’ comfort and dignity. We give our caregivers enough time to patiently scrub someone’s nails, straighten her room or supervise her weekly baking “date” in our kitchen.

You’re probably curious about our caregivers. Below are the questions we’re asked most often – click on them to see our answers. If you want to know more, please contact Courtney Goin.

What do you mean when you use the term “caregiver?”

Caregivers are the professionals responsible for daily care of Care Haven residents and their home.

  • Helping residents with their physical and medical needs,
  • Dispensing the medications prescribed by each resident’s physician, under a nurse’s supervision,
  • Planning and assisting with individual or small group activities,
  • Preparing, and assisting residents with, meals and
  • Maintaining the home, including taking care of housekeeping and laundry.

What training do your caregivers receive?

Each Care Haven caregiver is trained and certified as a

  • Certified Nurse Aide (CNA), licensed by the State of Kansas to help residents with their health and hygiene needs under the supervision of a Registered Nurse (RN) or a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN), or
  • Certified Medication Aide (CMA), licensed by the State of Kansas to perform clinical and administrative duties and to dispense medication as prescribed by a physician.

We provide ongoing in-house professional development to our staff. Managers and caregivers also participate in dementia care staff training programs offered by the Alzheimer’s Association.

How many caregivers work in each home?

A staff of seven caregivers serves each home over the course of a week. While we may temporarily move a caregiver from one home to another to allow for vacations or other absences, each is assigned to a particular home – residents see the same familiar faces nearly every week.

Do caregivers live in the homes?

While caregivers are valued members of our Care Haven family, they return to their own families after their shifts are over.

Who supervises caregivers?

The Nursing Supervisor and nursing staff direct all caregivers as they carry out tasks related to health or hygiene, dispense medications or perform clinical duties.

The Operations Manager supervises all caregivers as they perform their other household duties.

The Nursing Supervisor and the Operations Manager have offices in one of our houses. Because Care Haven’s homes are located close to one another, these senior managers easily make regular rounds and emergency visits to each.

One caregiver in a Care Haven home is designated House Manager. Working with the Nursing Supervisor and the Operations Manager, the House Manager coordinates the respective home’s day-to-day operations, ensuring that all residents receive the dignified, skilled personal assistance recommended in their individual care plans.

How long have your caregivers been with Care Haven Homes?

We’re very proud of the ongoing commitment of our staff, as demonstrated by their tenure. According to recent studies, the annual turnover rate for certified nursing assistants in US nursing facilities is nearly 70% per year. High turnover compromises the quality of care. Vacancies reduce staffing levels. Caregivers don’t have the time to get to know – and attend to – the needs and preferences of individual residents.

Our caregivers remain with Care Haven Homes significantly longer than the industry average.

We acknowledge the important role caregivers play in our mission to provide better dementia care by

  • Compensating them fairly and providing attractive employee benefits,
  • Scheduling so they can count on having the support of coworkers while on duty, and count on having free time at home during their days off,
  • Providing them careful training, coaching and mentoring,
  • Supporting their ongoing professional development and
  • Showing appreciation for the valuable contributions they make to our homes.

Most importantly, comparatively high staffing levels give them the time to form close relationships with our residents, their families and each other.