Topics: Wheelchair Bound, Quadriplegia, Caregiving, Quadriplegic, coronavirus

Overcoming Caregiver Shortages Caused by the Coronavirus

We are in unprecedented times because of the Coronavirus. Many people are being cautious in their personal lives, and this is overflowing into the lives of people who have a spinal cord injury and rely on caregivers. Many people are calling in sick or quitting, afraid to leave their homes, and they're leaving many people without care.

Many caregiver agencies are having trouble staffing their clients as well. These aren't just singularly reported situations. Some agencies report nearly 100 clients without caregivers/PCAs at any given time. It is nearly impossible to find caregivers for certain shifts in the times we are in. There have even been reports of quadriplegics staying in their wheelchairs all night because they do not have the care they need.

To overcome these seemingly insurmountable challenges, here are some ways to still find caregivers even during a pandemic. It may make finding a caregiver more difficult, but it does not make it impossible. 

Ask Friends & Family for Help, Ideas

One of the first places to look when you are seeking a new caregiver during the pandemic is to ask family and friends if they can help or know of anyone, as they are more likely to help someone they know and care about than a stranger during this stressful time. Many people do not want to risk going into someone else’s home unless they feel the risk is worth the reward. Whether you ask family and friends online or over the phone, try to make everyone aware in your life that you need more caregivers so that they can be aware of your needs in case they run across someone who may be a good fit. Remember, it is always in your best interest to be open about your caregiver shortages.

Post a Job Ad on Facebook Jobs

If you're able to, start a business or organization Facebook page, which is free, and then you'll be able to post a job on the “Jobs on Facebook” section which can help you find dozens of qualified applicants. This section can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/jobs. This is a great option since so many people use Facebook and this translates into millions of people also using their Jobs section. Posting on other job sites such as Indeed.com is not easy as an individual unless you can prove you are a certified business, which is why “Jobs on Facebook” is a great alternative.

Be Detailed in Your Job Posting

In a sea of blase generic caregiver/PCA ads, you want to make sure yours stands out. One of the best ways to do this is to make sure you mention all of the good details of the job right away. If possible, consider putting details such as the pay rate if it is good right in the subject of the job ad so you can attract the applicants. The days and start times of the shift should also be added to the subject line of the ad to get more interested applicants. The more details, the more interest you will receive on your jobs. Period.

Shout-Out for Help on Your City Facebook Page

Nearly every city in the world has its own Facebook page. Chances are your hometown has one. If not, the next town probably does or the largest city near you has one. Try to join as many of these groups as possible and post in them, letting your neighbors know that you require help due to a caregiver shortage. This will get you noticed and will help connect you with people who can either help you directly or find someone who can help. Sometimes all it takes is a nudge to your local community to find the help you need.

If all else fails, try to increase your caregiver’s hourly pay by adding to whatever the government pays or your health insurance pays. This is commonly done and helps attract many caregivers. We wish you luck during this difficult time and remember, you can also inquire into different local home healthcare agencies. If yours is not adequate for you cannot find help on your own, switching to a new agency can be a great way to find help.

Vincent Dolan

Written by Vincent Dolan

A the Director of Public Affairs at SpinalCord.com Vincent has had the opportunity to speak with thousands of individuals (and families) during every step of the recovery process. Vincent has combined his legal and marketing expertise to create the single largest resource for those impacted by a spinal cord or other catastrophic injury. While gathering and sharing these resources Vincent also spends time answering the SpinalCord.com hotline which allows him to better understand what families are going through. Vincent is actively involved in supporting various non profits within the SCI community, and is always open to helping in whatever way he can. Vincent also works with our sponsors Swope, Rodante P.A. to ensure families have every opportunity to obtain the resources which improve the quality of life for individuals after a spinal cord injury.

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