Often, we get families that are interested in shorter blocks of time with our caregivers. This has advantages and disadvantages which we discuss. We are happy to accept all cases that we receive regardless of their size, but there are difficulties with staffing these types of cases.
Additionally, some families question why tasks are taking so long, which can be frustrating when families are paying by the hour. People want to minimize their cost but might not understand how long tasks are actually taking their loved one.
What Minimum Hours Are
Minimum hours are the minimum blocks of time that you can request from a home care company. Many in our area have minimums between three and five hours at a time.
Generally, blocks cannot be split, meaning, if the minimum is five hours and a customer requests two three hour blocks of time, the thought is that is over the five-hour minimum. This would be incorrect, the minimum is the blocks of time you can purchase.
Why Have Minimums
At Minute Women Home Care we try and staff every case regardless of size. Our minimum is one hour of care.
The reason why many agencies have minimums is for two reasons, scheduling and staffing.
It is difficult to get caregivers to accept low blocks of time. The reason is their return on investment. They need to get ready, drive to the case, work the case and then drive home. They may spend more time driving to the case than actually working on it.
What would be the minimum amount of time you would want to be paid for to get ready and driving into work each day? Same with a caregiver.
Scheduling a low hour case takes more time and effort than a higher hour case because they are less desirable as explained above. So from the agency owner’s perspective, their schedule is less productive on a less profitable case than a hight our case, so why accept the client? This leads agency owners to decline low hour cases because, in their eyes, it isn’t worth the time.
Additionally, if a client is unhappy with the care they are getting, this requires even more time spent on the case by the office staff, which means profit margins further decline. For many agency owners, taking low hour cases does not make business sense to them.
We look at low hour cases as opportunities. While everything above is true – they aren’t big revenue generators and do take time to schedule and time to find the right caregivers – we still appreciate them.
Home care is a word of mouth business, and the more happy clients we service, the more referrals we receive. So we always remind ourselves that you never know when the three-hour case will turn into the thirty hours a week case or when that low hour case knows a neighbor that needs live-in care.
What a family might expect the time it takes to provide care and the real time can be different. Families might not realize that mom has declined further and it takes longer to do tasks that once were easy.
When it comes to a senior they want to be independent. They want to still have control of their own life, and our caregivers are there to provide that to them. So we are not there to rush them down the hall or put their clothes on for them.
Imagine if everything you do each day to five or ten minutes longer? How much extra time would that add to your morning schedule to get ready to leave for work?
We are there to help and assist when needed and to patiently wait while the senior completes a task they are still able to perform on their own. Imagine how you would feel if you were rushed through your daily routine?
Most families are not asking us to rush their loved one but may not understand how much their parent has slowed down. When it is our caregiver we always remind them that they must be patient and respectful of a senior’s wishes and what they want to do.
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