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The Holiday Season is Here!

Nov. 9, 2022

The holidays present special challenges and opportunities for caregiving agencies. Anyone in this industry is aware that caregiving is 24/7 and does not take any holidays. Caregiving agencies have an obligation to support both their employees and the families and individuals that they serve. Balancing these demands can get more difficult in Nov. and Dec. A few tips that Ability Matters has found helpful during the holiday season are:

• Gather information about family and individual care needs early.

• Ask staff to ask for time off at least 2 weeks in advance in order to ensure those requests can be approved.

• Be flexible in scheduling. Not all employees or individuals celebrate the same holidays on the same days. It can be a bit of a puzzle, but a flexible schedule this time of year can go a long way.

• Encourage staff to take a half day or partial shift off in order to provide needed care. If the employee’s family has Thanksgiving dinner at noon, maybe they can still work an evening shift. If they have Thanksgiving dinner in the evening, they may be available for a morning shift.

• Offer alternative paid time off or other incentives for those who are willing to work on days that are heavily requested off.

• Instead of “closing” on a particular day, we prioritize services offered. Families are used to our school services and other less frequent services provided to individuals who live in the family home being canceled during this time of year. However, individuals who live in the community away from family often need services maintained.

• Remind staff of company mental health benefits that are available to them at this stressful time of year.