LUBBOCK, TX — Home care agencies in Lubbock are among the many businesses struggling to make ends meet during the COVID-19 pandemic, Best In-Home Care said Monday afternoon.
“Right now, the problem is qualified caregivers. We’re probably a medium agency, 60 caregivers, and we’re down to a little over 30 now,” said Director of Operations at Best In-Home Care Doug Nelson.
Nelson said prior to the pandemic, the agency took on about 2,000 hours of care each week. Now, they can only manage about 1,000 hours each week.
“We noticed that we weren’t getting any calls from Craigslist, Indeed– completely dried up,” said Nelson, adding that they used to average 20 applicants a month, but do not get any now.
“I even called Indeed. They said it’s nationwide. There’s a shortage. People are not signing up,” he explained.
To find more caregivers, Nelson said the business raised wages and provided bonuses, which can be costly.
Not only does that increase the price for care services, but Nelson said Best In-Home Care has paid “massive amounts” of overtime.
“We have to take the caregivers that we have and put them on another job, where if you had a bunch of them, you might not have to take someone who already has 40 hours a week,” Nelson reasoned. “And now you’ve got to pay them a bunch of overtime.”
“Bless our caregivers. They’ll do it, they’ll jump in,” Nelson said, although he acknowledged that the excess of overtime is not the most sustainable option for the business.
Best In-Home Care has not made a lot of money between paying the caregivers and what it charges the clients.
“If you go up a dollar or two on the clients, that helps pay the caregivers so that agencies like ours can pay the bills,” Nelson said.