Here's what care aides say about workload and their ability to provide quality care.
In 2013/14 HEU asked dozens of care aides to track their daily routines in a journal -- and to tell us what challenges they face delivering care to their residents. Here are some examples from across the province.
“I put my body at risk every day because I’m cutting corners. There’s not enough staff to do the assignments.”
“The residents are the ones that always suffer because we don’t have enough time. They pay in person and with money. Years ago, it wasn’t this way.”
“There’s no time to treat people like people… I used to be happy about the difference I made in peoples’ lives. Now my job just makes me sad.”
“I am always at risk to any injury because of workload and not enough staff. My health is declining because of burnout.”
“In the past two weeks, I worked two overtime shifts, not because I need the money but because if I didn’t work, my co-workers would be working short. It takes a toll on my family and my health.”
“We’re always rushed. Care aides are always under the gun with time restraints.”
“When you leave work, there are always things left undone. Occasionally, you have those days that are so satisfying, but there are few and far between. We need the time to actually care for the whole person, not just the necessities.”
“When working short staffed, it can create animosity among the group.”
“Love my job. Would like more time for the residents.”
“The constant stress and frustration on an almost daily basis takes its toll physically and mentally.”
“I’m burned out by the end of my shift and risk being hurt.”
“I often go home feeling anxious and worried for my residents, sometimes depressed. I often feel
physically exhausted, back ache, foot pain, headaches.”
“When residents are not toileted in a timely manner, they feel ignored and are put at risk.
The result is lots of bladder and urinary tract infections.”
“Having enough supplies available is an ongoing problem. This week we’ve been short of soaker pads,
wash cloths and pillow cases.”
ALSO: CARE AIDES STRUGGLE TO SUPPORT SENIORS -- POLL (OCTOBER 16, 2014)