Agency secures grant program to help caregivers earn bonuses
At Home Nursing Care is proud to announce that 31 of its caregivers earned $68,000 in bonuses, thanks to a state funded grant to help caregivers stay in the homecare workforce.
“I wanted to express my heartfelt gratitude for the monetary gift I received as a reward for the training I recently completed. Your generosity and recognition mean a lot to me, and I appreciate it immensely,” wrote one employee in response to the program.
She and her colleagues each earned $2200 in Visa Gift Cards after completing 10 hours of online training in just one week. Across the agency, that added up to more than 330 hours of training during the last week of September alone!
“I gladly paid $4,000 to access the software so caregivers could earn bonuses just by completing the training,” said Lauren Reynolds, owner of At Home Nursing Care, a licensed and accredited homecare and home health company launched in 2010.
“We are always looking for ways to help our caregivers earn bonuses and also have the competencies for the increasingly serious conditions of the patients we serve at home.”
The grant money stemmed from a California grant program and was open to agencies that provide direct in home care. The goal of the program is to provide direct payments of the grant to caregivers, bypassing agencies so that it’s not considered regular salary and is not included in employer taxes or worker’s compensation charges.
This grant money, funded by the state and paid through a direct third party, was not available to employees in nursing homes or hospitals, as the program was designed to boost the community based workforce with incentives for learning more skills.
Employees started receiving the first gift card as payouts to the bonuses caregivers earned in early October, adding up to $1450 total. As part of a retention bonus, if those employees continue to work with At Home Nursing Care through the rest of the year, they’ll receive another $750 Visa Gift card in January.
This is another reason At Home Nursing Care has been named Best in North Coast for in home care each year since 2017.
The money is taxable and so each employee had to fill out a 1099 through a company called “Tremendous”, which is handing the disbursements of the grant. The visa gift cards are digital, but can be linked to the caregivers Apple Pay app or Google Pay app, and then used at stores such as Amazon, Starbucks, grocery stores and gas stations that take those payments. It cannot be traded for cash or deposited into the bank.
The topics that At Home Nursing Care chose as part of the 10 hours include Working with Veterans, Shingles, Human Trafficking, Dealing with Violence in Home Care, Professionalism, and Customer Service.
“The training was not only a valuable learning experience, but it also reaffirmed my belief in At Home Nursing Care commitment to the professional growth and well-being of its employees. Your support is truly motivating and makes me proud to be a part of such a caring and supportive team,” wrote a caregiver who has worked with the agency since 2015.
While At Home Nursing Care pays competitive hourly rates, most clients pay from their life savings and so the rates charged to customers can’t be raised more than is sustainable. Having the state support the industry with grant programs provides extra incentives to a workforce that works very hard to enhance the lives of everyone they serve at home.
For the caregivers of At Home Nursing Care who did not complete the training by the end of September there is still a great incentive, the ability to still earn $1450 in bonuses. The only part they won’t be entitled to is the $750 retention bonus. In all, the agency made it possible for its caregivers to earn bonuses of up to $178,000 this year alone.