I recently came across communication from a well-known agency specializing in senior care, promoting their caregiver services.
Curious, I called to find out more about their offerings.
Barbara, the person who answered my call, said she would connect me to Betty, the intake person.
Once connected, Betty’s voicemail said “I’m on a leave for a few months and will return at a later date. Don’t leave a message. Call back and speak to one of my colleagues, Georgina or Tracey.”
The phone system bounced me back to Barbara, the front desk person, and I asked to be connected to Georgina or Tracey, the two people identified in Betty’s voicemail. Neither answered their phone, and neither had voicemail.
Barbara, the person on front desk, tried to be helpful. She put me on hold and went to look for Georgina and Tracey, the people she had tried to connect me to. No luck.
At this point, the front desk person Barbara, was getting frustrated herself, and offered to find someone else who could be helpful and have them call me back.
Shortly afterwards I received a call from Joanne who was able to confirm a few details about the care service they provide, but could not answer any of the more detailed question I had.
She offered to have Caroline, a Supervisor, call me.
A short while later I heard from Caroline.
Caroline told me that she might meet with a Client once, to assess their care needs, but she does not supervise the care or the caregiver (I’m not sure why she is called a Supervisor).
She also told me that she is not a Nurse. (How does she assess a senior’s care needs?)
I asked if they have a good number of staff available to work and I was told that staff availability is in fact, very poor.
And that if a caregiver, for some reason is not able to make it to a shift, that it is unlikely that the Agency would be able to provide a replacement caregiver.
Imagine a frail senior who needs care (which is why they are a Client of this agency in the first place), being told that no replacement caregiver will be coming.
Is that really acceptable?
At Eldercare Home Health we answer the phone
We have replacement caregivers available when our staff are unwell or have their own personal emergencies to deal with.
And a real Registered Nurse or Registered Practical Nurse visits, supervises and case manages the care of each of our Clients, on an ongoing basis – at no additional charge.
It’s what we do to make sure that our Clients, and their families get the senior care they deserve, and the relief they need.
And that after all, is why we do what we do.
Note: I’ve changed the names of those involved – for privacy, but unfortunately the story is all too true.