Care homes are designed to offer personal care for others.
These individuals need extra support in their daily lives that they cannot get at home or need to be under careful watch. Either from the encouragement of family members or healthcare professionals, individuals find a new home in a care home – a place where they can get the care they need.
Moving into a care home is considered the last choice for some families, especially for the relative in need of care. If they have been living independently in their home, having to move into a care home can be an understandably upsetting situation.
Some families need support finding the right care home for their loved ones. They want to ensure that the place is in an easily accessible location so they can visit, but they want to ensure that they are able to care for the needs of their relatives.
However, the support and care provided can help them to settle into their new home. The team can help them create a routine they feel comfortable with. To achieve this, and at the standard, they have promised the families, they need various tools and services to help them. Many of these tools and services come at a cost.
If you are interested in knowing how care homes can keep their costs low but still stay in operation, keep reading to find out how.
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Identify Current Costs Of Running A Care Home
Before any changes can be implemented to help a care home run more efficiently and save money, they need to identify their running costs.
These areas enable a care home to deliver excellent care to residents. It ensures that they are in the best health they possibly can be, keeping residents feeling looked after and happy.
In order to deliver this service, numerous areas need funding. These are some of the costs required to help run a care home.
- Staff Costs
Starting with one of the most crucial factors of a care home and one of the most considerable costs is the staff. For a care home to run, it needs a dedicated team working to keep the residents happy and well.
Each staff member will have the training and qualifications required to allow them to work in the care home and look after the residents.
The salary for care home staff can vary depending on job title and other influencing factors. Many care homes will have a permanent team who might work by changing shifts or the same weekly hours. In some care homes, they have a rota for their shifts allowing staff to have time off or to work more sociable hours.
Finding qualified individuals to join the permanent team can be challenging. As such, some care homes might have agency staff working alongside the permanent team when they struggle with workloads.
Along with staff, utility costs are another crucial costly factor for operating a care home. These costs cover everything that is needed to run a care home daily. It is the water bills, gas and electricity – all of which are factors that are used by the staff and the residents. As such, the monthly bills for these can be high.
However, these factors must operate to a high standard. Without it, it could impact the level of care the staff delivers and what care the residents receive.
Poor care in care homes can have a damaging impact, potentially causing some residents’ families to move their loved ones elsewhere, for instance.
Thirdly, maintenance costs are equally as important as the other two factors. The maintenance work completed in a care home ensures that all appliances work correctly. It ensures that there are no hazards that could later be a potential threat to staff and residents—for example, loose handrails, carpet that has come away from skirting edges, or appliance issues.
Maintenance checks are implemented regularly to ensure everything is in order. If anything is flagged as a concern, work to handle the issue can begin immediately.
Understandably, some of these costs take up more of a care home’s budget than others. This is because of the need and standard of care that has to meet the expectations of residents, relatives, inspections and what they promote.
Areas Where Money Could Be Saved
After identifying the current costs of running a care home, the next step should be finding areas where money could be saved. Aim to create a cost-effective model that could help reduce the care home’s monthly spending.
Consider learning about creating cost-effective models in healthcare. Take online courses, like the Modelling Cost-Effectiveness in Healthcare course from The London School Of Economics (LSE). This course from LSE could provide you with tools to reduce costs and improve operational efficiencies.
Of course, the quality and level of care should be factors that are not impacted by cost-saving measures. Instead, here are a few areas where money could be saved in a care home to help it operate more cost-effectively.
- Using Energy-Saving Appliances
Like in many homes across the nation, switching to energy-saving appliances has become a popular way to help save money. This could be lightbulbs, kettles and toasters, amongst other things. Of course, the longevity of these appliances is essential.
They will be used daily, multiple times in the day, to cater for the needs of all the residents and staff.
It is crucial that the appliances are capable of the high demand. As long as regular maintenance and checks are done to these appliances to ensure they are working properly and safely, they could help a care home save a little extra each month.
- Optimising Heating Costs
Of course, ensuring that the care home is a comfortable space is essential. Having the heating on is needed in a care home, despite it being the costliest factor. To reduce costs, consider having central heating installed if electric heaters are being used.
Keep the temperature to the ideal setting. If it is too warm, residents might have their windows open, which causes a lot of heat to escape and become wasted. Ensure all rooms and the whole property is well insulated.
- Be Mindful Of Water Wastage
Similar to heating, water is used daily in care homes. It could be washing laundry and dishes, showers and baths for the residents, or filling up the kettle and drinking glasses for residents. Again, it is another costly factor in running a care home.
It is possible to reduce water bills and wastage. It could be through tightening all of the taps to reduce water dripping. Have the maintenance worker for the care home look at all the fixtures in the property and check that none are loose.
If any are, they can tighten them up to help stop the drips, which can waste water and contribute to receiving higher water bills.
The Bottom Line
Care homes can create cost-effective models that could help them to save money. The saved money can be reinvested into the care home for updates and improvements. These updates can create a more welcoming space where residents can feel comfortable and at home when they move in to live in their new space.
Whilst there might be areas that are more difficult to save money, implementing as many changes as possible that do not disrupt or affect the level of care can help to have a positive impact on a care home.