Assisted Living Workforce Crisis Getting Worse

Nearly one-half of assisted living providers are concerned they might have to close their facilities if workforce challenges persist

By HFT Staff
July 27, 2022

The assisted living industry continues to face a serious staffing and economic crisis, according to a recent survey by the National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL), which represents more than 4,000 assisted living communities across the country. Among the survey’s key findings are these: 

More than one-half (52 percent) of assisted living providers say their overall workforce situation has worsened since January 2022.  

  • 63 percent are experiencing staffing shortages. One-quarter of those assisted living providers say they have a high level of staffing shortages.  
  • 93 percent have increased wages to help attract and retain caregivers. 
  • 98 percent have asked staff to work overtime or extra shifts due to the staffing shortages. One-half have hired temporary agency staff due to shortages.  
  • 87 percent say they have difficulty hiring new staff.  
  • The biggest obstacle for assisted living providers in hiring new staff is a lack of interested or qualified candidates, with two-thirds of providers saying it was an “extremely big” challenge.  
  • Nearly one-half (48 percent) are concerned they might have to close their assisted living communities if workforce challenges persist.  
  • On average, assisted living providers say their operational costs have increased since this time last year by 40 percent.  
  • More than one-third are operating at a loss (37 percent) and can’t sustain current operating pace for more than one year (35 percent).  

“The survey shows that the workforce crisis in assisted living has not improved, and we are deeply concerned that more assisted living communities will have to close their doors,” says LaShuan Bethea, NCAL’s executive director. “Assisted living has been largely forgotten by public health officials during this pandemic. Iit’s time they received the resources and the support they desperately need.” 

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