LeadingAge New York Adviser Adviser LeadingAge NewYork Spring 2019 final - Page 36

Feature Combating Burnout by Developing Resiliency By: Carl Bloomfield, AAI, vice president and managing director at Graham Company; and Siddharth Ashvin Shah, MD, MPH, CEO at Greenleaf Integrative A cross the country, there is a crisis at hand for organizations and their staff. More than ever before, individuals, especially in the health and human services industry, are experiencing increased stress on the job resulting from the ever-increasing expectations placed on them. Professionals in New York are no exception to this, and those in the aging services industry in particular are experiencing high- consequence levels of distress With residents of New York living longer than and burnout on the job. This is not a surprise given the difficult and oftentimes traumatic situations direct care workers face on ever before, the population aged 85 and above a regular basis – like the death of a longtime resident – and their has increased 26 percent over the past 12 years, tendency to be relentlessly dedicated to those they care for. In addition, these professionals must operate in highly demanding and nearly one-sixth of residents are over 65, environments and are expected to do more with less. according to a 2019 report. With residents of New York living longer than ever before, the population aged 85 and above has increased 26 percent over the past 12 years, and nearly one-sixth of residents are over 65, according to a 2019 report. This is producing an increased need for care, but also presents the challenge of accommodating that demand given the growing workforce shortage. In fact, the American Health Care Association (AHCA)/National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL) recently cited that the annual turnover rate for assisted living resident assistants and personal care aides is approximately 36 percent. All of these stressors combined are impacting the New York direct care workforce in several ways. The solution lies in creating a shared Cumulative stress in aging services responsibility approach to developing a organizations can lead to systemic dysfunction and lower quality of care resilient workforce. of those at the facility. That’s because unmanaged stress levels and burnout impact engagement, judgment, decision-making and situational awareness. The result? The most obvious and widely known impact is high employee turnover, as evidenced by the numbers above. For example, a caregiver may leave the organization if the psychological effects they face from a resident’s bullying are not handled properly. Less known among aging services organizations is that this also creates more risk. We, however, see in claims that stress does factor into risk. For instance, a caregiver’s high stress level may result in an error because he or she had a delayed reaction time or made a poor decision, leading to an insurance claim against the direct care worker and the associated facility. The good news is that aging services organizations can address the issue before it escalates further. The solution lies in creating a shared responsibility approach to developing a resilient workforce. Knowing that a certain level of stress is inevitable for all workers, (See Combatting Burnout on page 44) 35 Adviser a publication of LeadingAge New York | Spring 2019