Area elder care facilities offer more than just pay, benefits to attract help

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Every business seems to have hung the “Help Wanted” sign in Henry County, like everyone else in the rest of the state.

The industry of aged care or nursing facilities is in the same situation. Every care facility seems to be looking for additional staff.

A discussion with several facility administrators revealed a variety of differences, but also some commonalities.

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Liberty Village of Geneseo is a facility that can help with different levels of care. Single-family duplexes, retirement apartments, and assisted living situations are all available at properties managed by Liberty Village.

A loved one can start in duplexes, with assistance available to them when needed. Garden work and general maintenance are handled by the establishment, leaving residents free to socialize or pursue their interests.

As part of the apartment, meals are part of the arrangement, as well as housekeeping. This leaves residents free to pursue social interests with other members of the community, without giving up their privacy. Health professionals are only a phone call away.

Liberty Village also has 30 assisted living rooms, where residents are cared for, with regular monitoring of medication, hygiene, and meals by staff. Memory Care is available for residents with dementia. An activity-based program is used to keep minds active and residents engaged.

According to Lynn Lenz, the facility’s manager, Liberty Village is looking for help in the form of nurse’s aides, cooks, housekeeping, CPNs, as well as maintenance.

In addition to the usual benefits that can be obtained by working for Liberty Village, a scholarship program is available for employees wishing to further their skills, progressing from nurse aide to CNA, or even LPN or RN. They are willing to arrange times to accommodate classes in these cases. The help is versatile in order to fill in when a member of the team is absent.

A rewards program rewards employees who refer their friends and family to the Liberty Village family by receiving a bonus for the referral.

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Hammond-Henry Long Term Care at Geneseo provides skilled care and rehabilitative care to residents. Residents stay in private or semi-private rooms, with 24-hour access to medical staff. On-site activities and services keep residents engaged and entertained.

Long-term care manager Nicole Kittelson also echoed the need for CNAs and nurses. As with other institutions, Hammond-Henry offers continuing education scholarships and tuition assistance for employees looking to increase their certifications. Flexible schedules will accommodate students looking to balance work and study.

Hammond-Henry Long Term Care has consistently received a 5-star rating for the past ten years from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). It is only the second in the United States to achieve such an honor.

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Robin Tippitt, administrator of Hillcrest Home in rural Geneseo, says that due to their unique location, they are not understaffed, as they are owned and funded by the county. Residents are on a waiting list and new residents are admitted based on staff-resident ratio.

Currently, Hillcrest is looking for help of all kinds. Nurses, orderlies, CNAs and kitchen helpers are all on the list of openings. Tuition assistance is also available to improve skills and increase pay levels.

Tippitt also says that they recently developed a new union contract that now offers better compensation for assigned positions and auxiliary staff. Excellent benefits due to county affiliation are a draw for potential candidates, according to Tippitt.

Hillcrest residents enjoy a Valentine's Day lunch in the activity room.  Residents are entitled to regular outings such as ice cream and pancake dinners.
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