This week, the CBS show Undercover Boss featured BrightStar, a company that provides a range of caregiver services including home care and nursing home staffing. As a Clearwater home care company, we were very interested to watch the episode. Many of the clips could have been snapshots of a typical day for our caregivers.

I particularly enjoyed watching caregiver George as he worked with skill and compassion helping out a gentleman in a retirement community, and joking with several of the residents. George had all the care and kindness you would expect from a former Kindergarten teacher now training to be a nurse. As the owner shadowed him, it made him reflect on the reasons for being in this business and the concept of service.

The caregivers featured reminded me of so many of our home care staff who choose this work because of their desire to help others and feel personally rewarded by doing so. As with many of our caregivers, the BrightStar employees featured were often working towards future goals such as nursing school or found a rewarding career in caregiving after retiring from another caring profession.

Some reflections from watching the show:

• The people ARE the caregiving business. It is our staff, like BrightStar’s, that brings the kindness and compassion to their work and makes the difference to their clients’ lives. Because of this, our philosophy has always been one of putting caregivers first, above all else in the business. This means stepping in to their shoes and finding ways we can improve in supporting them (while we haven’t gone “undercover” we dedicate staff time and resources to interacting with, supervising and supporting caregivers and constantly analyzing ways we can be doing this better).

• One of the things we know is vital to supporting our caregivers is the training and communication we provide, much like BrightStar caregiver George shared with his boss. A caregiver going in to work with a client should be properly prepared with as much knowledge as we can provide. EasyLiving uses a computerized care planning tool and management system to help ensure this happens. We ask clients and families about personal care preferences and routines to make this even more customized, in addition to using checklists to ensure care duties are communicated and completed.  EasyLiving also provides free, paid training for all staff covering a variety of essential topics.

• A great attitude is a vital caregiver characteristic. The undercover bosses were convinced of the quality care they are providing as they met caregivers who dealt with clients so positively, even while sometimes facing their own personal struggles. Our EasyLiving caregivers impress us every day with positive attitudes, and families share with us how this impacts their loved ones. A smile, a little humor and some kindness can make a big difference to someone who might be facing a tough time and a period of loss or change.

• Quality caregivers do this work because they appreciate going to work knowing they can make a difference for someone.  The rewards of the job may be a smile or simple thanks from a client, sharing a good laugh (and many of the clients have quite a sense of humor, like the “GQ” gentleman in Undercover Boss) and hearing a client’s stories.

• The purpose of our business is and has always been to provide that type of care that we would want for our own family members. Our goal is to treat individuals with respect and dignity so that they can live each day to its fullest. To us, that also means living each day as they wish…knowing the importance of little things and personal preferences. We truly believe in providing Home Care…for the Way You Live.

We hope you got the chance to watch the show! It was inspiring and a good chance to reflect on why we do what we do. It is not easy for clients or families to seek out a caregiver’s help and it is our mission to ease their situation with high quality care.  Contact us to learn more about quality, affordable home care in Clearwater, Florida.

We invite you to share your thoughts and feedback on EasyLiving’s Facebook page.