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Rural Health Information Hub

Staffing and Program Sustainability

Sustaining rural aging programs includes establishing and maintaining productive partnerships with organizations and their staff across multiple sectors.

Turnover occurs in all sectors; however, the turnover rate in long-term care and aging-related services is very high. This can negatively impact the quality of care that individuals receive while aging in place. To decrease turnover and retain staff, several factors need to be addressed. Recommendations include:

  • Recruiting employees who are committed and motivated by attracting employees who want a “helping” profession and truly care about supporting older adults
  • Creating environments that encourage retention through:
    • Professional growth opportunities
    • Employee involvement in decision-making
    • Employee recognition
    • Building teams and increased coworker support
    • Helping staff cope with work stress

To further ensure program sustainability, program stakeholders can:

  • Complete regular reviews of the accessibility of home healthcare services and staff.
  • Make sure there are available home health services for increased quality of life and long-term cost savings.
  • Communicate the value of the program to members and other stakeholders.
  • Guarantee a continuity of strong leadership for the program.
  • Broadcast successes to key entities and audiences. See Module 7 on dissemination for specific strategies.
  • Promote access to the aging in place program and engage the community to take ownership for long-term sustainability.

Resources to Learn More

Guiding Principles for the Sustainability of Age-Friendly Community Efforts
A framework that provides lists of principles for aging in place program sustainability. The framework should be used by community leaders, elected officials, organizations, and residents interested in creating age-friendly communities.
Organization(s): Grantmakers In Aging
Date: 10/2015

Preventing Caregiver Turnover
Addresses why employees leave home care, the cost of high staff turnover, and how to retain quality employees.
Author(s): McPherson, B.
Date: 2/2016