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11 Golden Tips for Managing Staff at an Adult Family Home

Updated: Aug 1, 2023

If you are running an adult family home or thinking about starting one, you probably already know it can be a complicated and highly rewarding venture.

There are currently around 4000 adult family homes in Washington State. These independent homes can house and care for up to six residents. This means that just in Washington State, tens of thousands of people are in adult family homes.

More and more people nowadays need care, and there is a lack of qualified caregivers. This crisis is projected to get worse in the coming years. In such a climate, adult family homes are extremely important.

Here is how you can make your private home care business successful and keep your staff happy.

1. Make Sure You And Your Staff Are up to the Task

Being an adult family home provider is challenging and responsible work. It might include caring for the elderly, people suffering from various illnesses, people with mental health issues, or people with other disabilities.

This kind of work requires mental resilience, patience, responsibility, and compassion. Not to mention the work never stops - your residents need care 24 hours a day, every day of the week.

Before you start your venture or hire caregivers, try to assess objectively whether you will be able to cope with the reality and challenges of running an adult family home.

Keeping your employees is much harder if the entire operation is not running as smoothly as it should be because you went into the business with rose-colored glasses.

2. Stay on Top of The Regulations

There are many legal requirements and regulations for running an adult family home. Washington State Department of Social and Health Services provides a detailed list of all the legal requirements an adult family home has to satisfy.

If you are already managing an adult family home, you need to ensure that it is always in compliance with these rules and regulations.

Running an establishment which is in full compliance with all of the regulations means that you can provide your staff with long-term, stable employment.

3. Step up Your Hiring Game

Most adult family homes go through the hiring process quite often. There is an ongoing shortage of caregivers, and the turnover rates are higher than ever. Choosing suitable candidates for the position starts with the interview.

The right interview questions can help you find responsible, hard-working staff members who will stay with you for a long time. By hiring people who are the right fit for the job, they are more likely to stay and appreciate the collaboration.

4. Invest in Staff Training

When it comes to candidates for caregiver jobs, sometimes you need to look past training, and focus on the candidates’ personal traits. A lot of caregivers only complete their training once they’ve already started working.

Training providers like Cornerstone offer fully online courses. This means that caregivers can easily fit their classes with their work schedule. Don’t miss out on a good candidate because of lack of training. That is easily rectified.

5. Support Continued Education

Talk to your staff members about their ambitions and how they fit in with your clients' needs. Many caregivers are interested in specialized training, for instance, working with clients who suffer from diabetes, dementia, or traumatic brain injury.

Hiring staff members who have an interest in further specialized training and supporting them in their continued education can be an excellent move.

Not only will it help your caregivers fulfill their ambitions, it will also boost the quality of service in your adult family home.

6. Be Clear About Caregivers’ Duties

From the first day, have clear communication with your caregivers. They should have all the necessary information about the residents and know clearly what their duties entail.

If you notice that some parts of the job are being neglected, address that in a timely manner instead of waiting for the problem to become too big to ignore.

7. Set Positive Values as the Norm

A caregiving situation is not easy for anyone – the residents, their family members, or the caregivers. Nurturing kindness, polite communication, patience, and professionalism sets a healthy basis for this challenging situation.

Your caregivers will have an easier time facing their daily duties with confidence if they can do so in a positive environment.

It also doesn’t hurt that these values will establish a great reputation for your adult family home. Word of mouth goes a long way when seeking new clients to continue your business.

8. Use Small Gestures of Appreciation

With the everyday challenges of running an adult family home, you might forget to express to your caregivers just how much you appreciate their hard work. Everyone enjoys feeling appreciated, even if it’s just a token gesture, like a cupcake for their birthday.

9. Keep The Lines of Communication Open

Whether through text, email, or in person, make sure your communication channels are always open. To stay on top of things, you need excellent communication with your caregivers, clients, clients’ families, and your clients’ healthcare team.

This will ensure that your caregivers have all the information needed to make informed decisions and provide the best care for your residents.

Having all the information will help you as well, in managing your adult family home in the most efficient way possible.

10. Be Open to the Caregivers’ Suggestions

If you want to run your adult family home responsibly, you won’t be able to accommodate every request from your caregivers or implement all of their ideas.

However, sometimes caregivers have great suggestions based on their own observations or previous experience.

These can help greatly improve the functioning of your adult family home and the quality of life of your residents and increase the efficiency with which your staff is doing their job.

11. Encourage Self-Care

Self-care does not entail only small creature comforts like fancy coffee and a pedicure. It actually means ensuring that a person works to become satisfied with several key aspects of their life.

As an employer, you’ll find that there are many ways to help your caregivers practice self-care. For instance, you can encourage them to create a healthy work-life balance, help them continue their education, or provide resources to help them deal with the pressures of the job.

In any business, but especially in caregiving, which relies so heavily on compassion, it’s important to view your employees as human beings, and valuable assets. Good management often equals happy employees, and that translates to happy clients.


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