As many in the industry know, being a caregiver can sometimes be a thankless job. It is a career where doing the right thing is expected and, often, overlooked. To increase recognition of the work their caregivers do, HHAeXchange began distributing awards to all of their “Homecare Heroes” in November, National Home Care and Hospice Month.

According to CEO Paul Joiner, the initiative is off to a great start in year one. 

“You want to do everything you can to make sure people don’t feel like they’re forgotten and just taken for granted, that they’re not just a name on a schedule,” Joiner told McKnight’s Home Care Daily Pulse. “They’re human beings; a lot of caregivers have their own challenges. It was good to see everyone take a moment and say ‘Let’s put the right people first.’”

There were over 135 nominations and 10 winners named in the inaugural campaign. In addition to the award, each winner received $500. With HHAeXchange expanding, Joiner wants to make sure that caregivers do not get lost amid the growth. HHAeXchange is a home care management software for the Medicaid home- and community-based services (HCBS) population.

“Our home care [company] is growing,” Joiner said. “We reached the scale on the market where we also have a big responsibility to support home care more broadly, not just with our technology but as a business. We face a lot of challenges alongside our customers in terms of the growing pressures and demand. As we face these challenges, it’s always important to remember why we do it. Right at the center of our market is the caregiver. So we support the caregivers and they support the patient; ultimately the goal is to make sure that seniors can stay in their home.”

By providing this recognition yearly, Joiner and HHAeXchange hope it provides a little bonus incentive for caregivers to go the extra mile. By making this an annual tradition, they hope to provide a little routine in the midst of an uncertain home care world. 

“I think being transparent with what’s going on and consistency is the key. We need to make sure that we, as an industry, are doing our best consistently to provide more training, more benefits and more support and predictability for these individuals,” Joiner said. “So predictability increases security, which increases satisfaction and that will improve retention and cause less burnout and turnover. That’s going to be the key to the game.”

Home Sweet Home is a feature appearing Mondays in McKnight’s Home Care Daily Pulse. The story focuses on a heartwarming, entertaining or interesting happening affecting the world of home care. If you have a topic that might be worthy of the spotlight in Home Sweet Home, please email Special Projects Coordinator Foster Stubbs at [email protected].