How Benchmark Creates Outstanding Senior Care Employees
There are two essential components to having a top-notch staff in assisted living:
- A strong pipeline of high-caliber job candidates
- Effective, ongoing training for current employees
As a longtime leader in the senior living industry, Benchmark has created strategies that achieve these two objectives and ensure our staff consistently provide personalized, professional care for our residents. How do we do it? Let’s take a peek behind the curtain to find out.
At Benchmark Senior Living, employees are required to undergo a specified number of training hours annually. Requirements vary from state to state, but Benchmark trains to the highest state requirement across all of its communities, regardless of where the community is located. This ensures that residents at every location receive the highest standard of care, no matter what.
For specialized disciplines, our staff also complete targeted training programs to ensure residents’ needs are met. In memory care, for example, our directors are expected to earn a dementia practitioner certification. Many of our executive directors earn their certification through Argentum, the leading national trade association serving companies that own, operate and support professionally managed senior living communities in the U.S.
High-quality care is a major goal for every senior living community, but this goal can only be achieved by consistently going above and beyond minimum requirements. This is especially true when it comes to appropriately staffing a community.
Benchmark communities hire staff according to their residents’ unique needs versus a predetermined ratio. This policy is important because it recognizes that not all residents have the same level of need. For high-need residents, a staff to employee ratio of one-to-ten may be inadequate. We strive to guarantee that each resident is adequately cared for, which requires flexibility about staffing.
We also make sure our staff can adapt to meet the changing care needs of our residents. For example, if a resident goes from being fully ambulatory to needing a walker, or from a walker to a wheelchair, Benchmark will accommodate those needs. Not all senior living communities will do so. This gives our residents peace of mind that their community will not require them to move out in the event that their circumstances change.
Benchmark Senior Living has established a high internal standard regarding our Quality of Residential Services (QRS). To ensure a high QRS, we perform internal inspections of our own communities as a precursor to annual state inspections. The purpose of our inspections is to ensure that any challenges or issues are identified early so corrective actions can be taken in a timely manner. This ensures that the state inspections go smoothly and essentially act as a verification that Benchmark is already meeting or exceeding the standards of care required.
“It’s all about quality,” Tim R. says. “Our goal is to ensure that we meet the major points that a regulator might look for. But we’re also reinforcing our own Benchmark standards. We've set standards and policies and put best practices in place, and we want to ensure that the community is following them for quality reasons, safety reasons and regulatory reasons.”
Benchmark: Elevating Care Standards
The best senior living communities are those that have invested in superior training and staffing to provide the best experience for residents. These communities — like Benchmark — have put in ample time, effort and money to ensure a high level of employee satisfaction through better pay, increased benefits and competitive working conditions.
This type of high-quality care often comes at a premium, but many families find that the extra cost is justified to ensure their loved one lives in a community with caring and responsive staff that will stick around for the long-term and build meaningful relationships with residents.
If you’re just starting this journey, consider taking this 5-minute survey to assess your situation and determine whether it’s the right time for senior living for you or your loved one.
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