5 Ways to Celebrate Careers in Aging Month

The ongoing nursing shortage has made hiring hard for everyone in healthcare — but those in the long term care space have faced particular difficulties hiring and retaining the talent they need.

To help your facility overcome this challenge, consider participating in Careers in Aging Month this March! Read on to learn more about this honorary holiday and how you can celebrate your facility’s staff this month.

What is Careers in Aging Month?

The American Health Care Association and National Center For Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) have celebrated Careers in Aging Week for years to both celebrate the hardworking people in this field while spreading awareness of the multiple career paths in this industry. For the first time, the entire month of March in 2024 has been designated Careers in Aging Month. 

5 ways you can celebrate the staff at your facility

To participate in Careers in Aging Month, celebrating your facility’s existing staff should be a top priority in March. Below, we’ve compiled a list of five ways you can show your appreciation for your team for all of the hard work they do.

Say “thank you”

First and foremost, make it a point to say thank you to every employee at least once during March. People like to feel appreciated, so expressing your gratitude is the foundation to creating a great work environment. 

You want to thank everyone who works at your facility verbally during this month, but you can also write cards to share with your team as well. The sentiment is a little different with cards, but the message is still there: they’re valued at your facility and you appreciate that they choose to work with you to provide the best care possible for patients.

Gift small tokens of your appreciation

Everyone loves to receive a present, but you don’t have to go all out to show your nursing staff how much you appreciate them — small tokens of appreciation are just as meaningful. 

To give gifts that wow your team, try to come up with either items they can take home and use or that would be handy to have at the facility. Branded swag items, like jackets, nice tumblers or mugs, or pens are all helpful to have for personal reasons and on the clock, so they make great gifts. Gift cards for food delivery apps or local restaurants are almost always appreciated as well!

Cater lunch for every shift

We’re not just talking about a pizza party here. While pepperoni and cheese have their respected place in classrooms and easy dinners, those greasy slices don’t exactly show your team just how much you value them.

Instead of offering the same old, same old for your employees, consider catering a unique lunch/mid-shift dining experience from local restaurants. Make sure that there’s something for everyone on your team by asking about diets, preferences, and allergies to avoid any uncomfortable situations. If you want to go the extra mile, order enough for leftovers so they can save on dinner for the night.

Upgrade their work environment

What better way to celebrate Careers in Aging Month than to pamper your team a little bit by upgrading their workplace! Whether you upgrade their coffee station with a new machine, a few new flavored syrups, or provide some snacks at the nursing stations that they can quickly grab when they have a chance. 

Other ways to upgrade their work environment by putting anti-fatigue mats in areas where your staff might stand for extended periods of time, like at fixed terminals or computers. It’s about the little things in life, and when you’re in such a physically demanding role like healthcare, every little bit counts.

Ask them!

As we’ve discussed earlier, long term care is a physically and emotionally demanding field. Caregivers can become attached to their patients while also being stressed and fighting burnout. The ongoing nursing shortage has made everything that much harder in this field. 

If you’re not sure what your team would appreciate the most during this month — just ask them! Your employees know better than anyone what would clearly demonstrate their value, so asking them is the best way to make them happy in the long run. 

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