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Truth or Folklore: Full Moons and On-Call Craziness

Owls sitting on tree branch in front of full moon to illustrate the question of if the full moon effects home care agencies, caregivers and on-call

I don’t know about you, but it always seems that the full moon creates a lot of issues in a home care agency. Especially when it falls on a weekend. It seemed like those weekends were full of caregivers calling out, client health emergencies, and general staffing trouble. I also know that our on-call admin during a full moon always had stories to tell about their night the next morning.

I spent hours researching Google Scholar for any studies that showed a correlation between a full moon and increased ER visits, 911 calls, nursing home issues, health declines, or general bad behavior. As a result of that search, there are many studies that have been conducted. Unfortunately, none of them showed a definitive correlation between a full moon and these types of incidents. So has science rendered this a mere myth and piece of urban folklore? Or is the issue so complicated that they haven’t yet been able to find the root cause linking full moons and human behavior?

40% of medical professionals believe that moon phase influences human behavior.

D. Vance, National Institute of Health Publication

As you can see above, a significant amount of medical professionals believe that there is a correlation between the moon phases and people’s behavior. You are an agency owner, operator, or scheduler, meaning, you’re on the front lines. As you know home care is now, more than ever before, tied into the medical system. Your agency is working side by side with Home Health, Hospice, and other segments of the medical community that allow your clients to safely age in place.


This gives you a unique perspective. You get to see how both your clients and caregivers react to full moons. When I ran an agency, I knew that every full moon was a wild ride. We had call-outs from caregivers with the most bizarre excuses. Likewise, clients would sometimes choose these periods to act out and demand new caregivers out of nowhere. So while there may not be a scientifically proven reason for this behavior, it is certainly interesting how often it coincides with a full moon!

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So what do you think? Does a full moon impact your agency, or not?

Let us know in the comments below.

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