Ongoing Labor Crisis Impacts Long-Term Care

Report finds Employment levels in nursing homes have dropped more than any other healthcare sector

By HFT Editorial Staff
November 17, 2021

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic erupted in early 2020, healthcare facilities managers faced a host of staffing challenges related to the departure of aging workers and the inability to replace them with technicians with experience and skills. The pandemic has only made these staffing challenges more difficult. Long-term care facilities are suffering more from the labor shortage than any other health care sector, according to a report from the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, employment levels in nursing homes dropped by 221,000, or 14 percent. In comparison, hospitals have lost 1.6 percent of employees since the pandemic began.

Career burn outs and switches and underfunding are all factors that attribute to the lowered employment. Meanwhile, respondents of the AHCA/NCAL survey said that that the labor shortage is impacting care for senior residents.

According to the report:

  • 86 percent of nursing homes and 77 percent of assisted living providers said that their workforce situation has gotten worse in recent months
  • 58 percent of nursing homes are limiting new admissions
  • 78 percent of nursing homes and 61 percent of assisted living communities are concerned workforce challenges might force them to close.



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