Leadership Lessons from the Field: June 2020 – Words of Advice from Leaders on the Front Lines

June 22, 2020

emotional support

Be forward thinking in emotional support for our staff, communities and families as we move through the virus emergency and into our new normal.

Plan to provide support to staff post-pandemic:

  • Anxiety resulting from the pandemic is taking an emotional toll on caregiver staff.
  • There is a psychological and physical drop-off (anti-climax) when you go from being a hero on the front line to returning to normal.
  • Acknowledge that staff may have unsettled feelings and perhaps depression that business as normal is not as exciting anymore.
  • Many of us (organization leadership) are doing extra for our front line team and we are going to take those away (when we return to normal). Ask ourselves as leaders: What does that do to their morale? How can we address that?

There are unmet needs around grief and bereavement:

  • We could very well see a surge in behavioral health issues as people begin to come together.
  • Communities will have unmet bereavement needs. What can we offer for people to do remembrances in different ways?
  • Use of telehealth and tele-connection now to help mitigate issues in the future.
  • Our frontline caregivers becoming surrogate family members and are experiencing bereavement/grief. Offering support to them is very, very important.
  • Support family members that can’t have services. One technique we have used is mailing compassion bags that have rituals or activities they can use in remembrance of their loved one.
  • Facilitating communication with our team members/family members that are present in helping them to communicate/inform other family members.
  • Resiliency we have learned during this time will need to carry on for quite a bit.

The information contained in this was shared widely during the 5/5/2020 CMS Lessons from the Front Line Home Health and Hospice Stakeholder’s call. Liz Fowler is the President/CEO of Bluegrass Care Navigators, Kentucky.

The transcript and recording can be found HERE.