As a home care agency owner, it is your responsibility to ensure, or at least, employ a person who ensures that none of your clients gets abandoned, even for a day.
Client abandonment happens when an agency neglects the needs of a client without reasonable notice, and without making reasonable arrangements for the continuation of care.
Client abandonment, for those who didn’t know, is ethically and legally unacceptable and could lead to serious consequences, including a damaged reputation, legal battles, and agency closure.
“Many cases of client abandonment usually arise as a result of caregiver no-shows, where a caregiver fails to show up for a scheduled visit without prior approval. When the agency doesn’t have a qualified replacement to bail them out, client abandonment automatically occurs until the usual caregiver is able to resume their responsibilities. In some cases, a case of client abandonment may prolong for days until a suitable replacement is found – which is not good for the client’s wellbeing as well as the reputation of the agency,” explains Coach Michele. “While client abandonment can result from many other unforeseen circumstances other than a no-show from a scheduled caregiver, preparing for no-shows will minimize the occurrences of client abandonment by more than 90%.”
Here are a few tips from Coach Michele to help you deal with caregiver no-shows quickly, and hopefully reduce or completely avoid client abandonment occurrences:
How to Deal With a Caregiver No-Show – Creating a Backup Plan
“Caregiver no-shows are bound to occur in any home care agency – they are simply inevitable and it would be unrealistic for an agency to leave it all to chance or rely on the mainstream schedule to ensure the continuation of care in such circumstances. Creating a backup plan comes highly recommended if an agency is to effectively address the challenge of caregiver no-shows. And how does one create a backup plan? It all comes down to assembling a couple of reliable caregivers, current or former, who are willing to respond to an emergency fill-in request during their free time. That way, the chances of finding a qualified replacement for an absent caregiver are increased,” advises Coach Michele.
How to Deal with A Caregiver No-Show – Finding A No-Show Replacement
So, what happens when a caregiver fails to honor a scheduled visit with or without prior approval?
“Of course, when a caregiver is able to forward an absence request before a scheduled visit, getting a replacement gets easier. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about unapproved absences. Still, the best way to address an unapproved absence is to first verify that both the client and the agency have been “ghosted” by the absent caregiver. This can be verified by calling the said caregiver, who could either be running late or is absent for a genuine reason. If the caregiver is unreachable via phone or any other available means of communication, then it is safe to assume they aren’t showing up and to look for a suitable replacement ASAP by referring to the emergency schedule/on-call list. The golden rule, however, is to never send a stranger to a client who has been “ghosted” by their regular caregiver. If a familiar caregiver is not available, the agency must make arrangements to have any new face introduced to the client by the Administrator, Supervisor, or any other agency official who is familiar to the client,” advises Coach Michele.
All in all, no one is perfect, and even the best-rated caregiver may ghost you, never to be seen again.
“The key to dealing with caregiver no-shows is to always be prepared. That way, you’ll know what to do if a caregiver decides to ghost you or runs into a genuine emergency,” concludes Coach Michele.
Would you be interested in discussing what we have just looked at in detail?
If yes, please feel free to get in touch with us here at Michele Lee Ellis Consulting, we will be more than delighted to hear from you!
Also, for more free tips on how to start and operate a successful home care agency from Coach Michele, please visit her YouTube channel @ I am Coach Michele.
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